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WAUSAU (WAOW) -
Waterways across Wisconsin are beginning to freeze. While you may be ready to head out on the ice, the ice is not ready for many of our favorite activities.
That's why Department of Natural Resources officials are urging caution.
"It's up to each person or angler to decide how much ice is safe enough for them. It's best to use good judgment," DNR Conservation Warden Ben Herzfeldt said. "If you don't feel it's safe, it's probably not," Herzfeldt continued.
DNR officials say testing the ice is very important.
"It's good to distribute your weight. Don't go carry out your equipment before you test it," Herzfeldt said.
Wausau Fire Department officials say they have to be ready for anything. That's why firefighters train every winter.
"We always have incidents where people misjudge the strength of the ice, so we want to be prepared to make sure that we're able to help those people in those situations," Wausau Fire Department Battalion Chief Doug Beula said.
Fire department leaders say people tend to head out a little too soon.
"Unfortunately, once in a while, we have somebody that gets a little too overeager and they go a little too early," Beula said.
Both DNR officials and firefighters agree, taking vehicles out on the ice right now is not a good idea.
"It's way too early to be thinking about driving on the ice," Beula said.
"Too early, don't do it. There's going to be accidents with it," Herzfeldt said.
As anglers and snowmobilers take to the ice this winter, officials say remaining safe should be your number one priority.
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