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      Taking precaution out on the ice

      Residents of Michigan may be eager to head out on the ice, but the Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone that ice is never 100 percent safe.

      Michigan DNR fishery technician Jacob McWethy says make sure you check that the ice is safe before venturing out â??right at the shorelineâ?? and â??get an idea if itâ??s really weak.â??

      The technician insists that recent weather and temperature should be taken into consideration.

      â??You want to check the weather conditions from the previous week or so and make sure itâ??s been cold enough weatherâ?|below 32 degrees,â?? says McWethy.

      Residents should also avoid patches of dark ice and bodies of water that contain currents such as reservoirs, creeks, or lakes that may contain springs.

      â??Reservoirs, by nature, have current and the ice is constantly changing because the water is being let down,â?? explains Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano.

      Ice should be a minimum of four inches thick to walk on and a minimum of eight for small vehicles.

      Despite how well you think you know the conditions, Sheriff Valesano recommends checking every time before heading out.

      â??The last few years we've had several incidents of vehicles and four wheelers going through the ice,â?? the sheriff says. â??These aren't always people that have never been on the iceâ?|a lot of times they are people that are familiar with the ice and think they know it better than they actually do.â??