Front Range fire departments urge people to stay off ice

DENVER -- If you're thinking of venturing out onto a frozen pond or lake in the Denver area, firefighters have a simple request this holiday season: don't.

Warm weather and recent sunshine have made the ice unstable, but that isn't stopping people from trying.

On Friday, Longmont Firefighters had to pull a man and child out of Golden Ponds after they fell through the ice and swam to a small island.

Last weekend, a boy and his dog had to be rescued after falling through the ice in Lafayette.

"There's no good ice down here at all," says South Metro Fire Captain Mike Vos. "The little bit of ice we have, animals are falling right through, and we're having to go after those."

Vos says you should remain on shore and call 911 if your dog runs out onto thin ice.

"Do not go out there after your dog. You probably weigh more than your dog, and you're going to fall through. And we're going to have to rescue two things: your dog and you," Vos says.

Captain Vos says the only stable ice in the region is at higher elevations, like in Evergreen and Georgetown.

"We consider four inches of good, strong ice to be safe enough to be on."

Ice fisherman like Dominick Vaughn have been making the trek to Evergreen for safe fishing.

"I really don't like to get out and start fishing until it's at least four inches thick," says Vaughn. "Wind will break up the ice really bad, and that's why there's not really safe ice down in town, compared to here in the mountains."

Evergreen Lake is currently sitting at about 6 inches of thickness, according to Vaughn.

The ice skating rink at Evergreen Lake will remain closed this week. The annual opening has already been delayed twice due to warm weather.

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