Beautiful stretch of weather creates potential danger on the ice

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It was another beautiful day across the Black Hills, but the great weather could spell danger for one outdoor activity. Black Hills FOX's Jon Wilson visited a couple lakes in the hills to find how the ice is holding up.

The Black Hills got yet another dose of spring time weather on Wednesday. With daytime highs topping out in the 60s, ice covered lakes were cracking and popping as the unseasonably warm weather slowly worked away at the ice.

Wildlife Conservation Officer Adam Geigle says, "Pactola and Sheridan, Deerfield all still have ice on them. The ice still should be fairly good, but this is the time of the year where things can get a little iffy, especially along the shorelines and points that stick out into the main lakes."

Ice thickness of at least four inches is recommended to walk on, but freezing and thawing cycles late in the winter and into the spring can make things treacherous.

Geigle says, "Ice this time of the year isn't nearly as strong as the ice at the first part of the year because it's had a lot of sun on it, a lot of water sitting on it, so it's not as strong of ice. It's going to take thicker ice to hold the same amount of weight."

To stay safe, it's all about observing the ice and noticing if there are any red flags.

Geigle says, "First and foremost, they should be careful. When they get to the lake, look around, look at the shorelines, things of that nature, look at the area that they're going to try and get on to the ice at, and make sure the ice is still good. Make sure there's not holes, and things of that nature that they have to worry about."

Noticing these red flags can help prevent what could be a great day on the lake from turning ugly.

Geigle says, "There's usually a few cases every year where someone falls through along the shoreline, or a pickup, the front end of the pickup will go through, or an ATV, or something like that. A lot of the times, when you look at the area where they went through, it's usually right along shore or where a point sticks out into the water where it's really shallow out into the main lake where you wouldn't think it would be shallow."