Sadly, it seems that there are multiple videos of vehicles breaking through the ice on Northland lakes every winter. Just last week, for example, a dramatic video of a truck falling through the ice at Lake of the Woods went viral.

January started out so mild that it wasn't shocking to discover unstable ice conditions throughout the area. However, things turned colder last week so you'd think that would help with ice conditions everywhere, but even as late as Saturday that simply wasn't the case.

On January 28, Aaron Bentley recorded a video shared by the Burnett County Sheriff's office through the Burnett County, WI Facebook page that proves that point.

The video appears to be an aerial view of tire tracks on Crooked Lake in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the tire tracks end and you see a truck submerged in the lake after it fell through the ice.

Please be cautious of the ice!!! Siren Fire Department and Burnett County Sheriffs responded to this truck that broke through the ice on Crooked Lake today. Everyone is ok but make sure you know the ice conditions before walking or operating on the ice

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The most important thing here is that nobody was hurt or worse during this ordeal. It also serves as a great reminder that no matter how cold it gets outside, we should never assume that any ice is safe.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to use caution at all times when approaching a frozen body of water.

The following ice thickness guidelines are also essential to know. Keep in mind that this is for new, clear ice only.

  • UNDER 4" Stay off
  • 4" Ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • 5" - 7" Snowmobile or small ATV
  • 7” – 8” Side-by-side ATV
  • 9” – 10” Small car or SUV
  • 11” -12” Medium SUV or small truck
  • 13” Medium truck
  • 16” -17” Heavy-duty truck
  • 20”+ Heavy-duty truck with wheelhouse shelter

The DNR's recommendations are based on average equipment weight and assume solid, clear ice. They add that you are responsible for knowing the weight of your vehicle, equipment, and body.

Also, remember that many factors other than thickness affect ice strength, including air temperature, wind, snow, streams, narrow areas or bottlenecks, sun, shade, fish communities, plant decay, and more. When a layer of snow melts and refreezes on top of lake ice, it creates white ice, only about half as strong as new, clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

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