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Sierra ice is inviting, but safe practices could keep revelers from crashing through

With the cold weather, people often venture onto the ice at locations such as Lakeview Commons in South Lake Tahoe.
With the cold weather, people often venture onto the ice at locations such as Lakeview Commons in South Lake Tahoe. City of Lake Tahoe

Frozen surfaces on lakes and ponds in the Sierra, courtesy of recent cold weather, provide what many people consider ideal winter playgrounds. But going onto the ice could lead to disaster if safety rules aren’t followed.

The South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue department offered tips on how to avoid a life-threatening dunk into frigid water.

The department offered the advice because people venture onto the ice at locations such as Lakeview Commons and Ski Run Marina. Lake ice is the most fragile around open patches and along the shore.

Sierra weather has been good for ice formation, and the rest of the week looks cold in the mountains, with the National Weather Service predicting the temperature will dip to 7 degrees New Year’s morning in South Lake Tahoe.

However, ice is never 100 percent safe, firefighters warn. If the urge to venture onto the ice is too enticing, remember these safety tips:

▪ Avoid warm or stormy days.

▪ Check ice conditions with knowledgeable locals.

▪ Obey all ice warning signs.

▪ Don’t travel on ice at night.

▪ Never go onto the ice alone.

▪ A thermal-protection buoyant suit will increase chances of survival.

▪ Carry an ice staff, ice pick and rope.

▪ Children not within arm’s reach of an adult are too far away.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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