Despite this week’s cold snap, Saskatoon Fire Department is warning residents about the dangers of “rotting” ice.
The department is asking people to stay off any pond or lake ice after their divers experienced “atypical conditions” while doing ice diving training.
“There were pockets under that ice where our divers could get their head and shoulders above the water and into a crevice in the ice,” Assistant Chief Wayne Rodger told 650 CKOM.
“It’s difficult to measure thickness through the entire layer when there are these anomalies because you don’t see them from above.”
He said the ice thickness ranged between 5 to 74 centimetres, or 2 to 29 inches.
He added several factors could be at play for the unstable ice conditions.
Warm spells in February melted much of the snow cover on ponds and lakes, allowing sunlight to pierce through the clear ice. The fire department said the radiation causes the ice crystal cohesion to deteriorate from the bottom up.
Standing water over the ice and running water underneath can also cause the ice to weaken.
Rodger also reminded the public to never go on river ice due to unsafe conditions.