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Ice-out reported on some MN lakes as officials continue to warn ice isn't safe

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The ice is not safe.

That's the message safety officials continue to give as ice conditions deteriorate across the state, causing several people to break through the ice over the weekend.

Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen said in a news release Monday a 69-year-old Foley man who was riding a four wheeler when he and the ATV went through the ice on Platte Lake just before 7 p.m. Sunday.

The man pulled himself out of the water onto stable ice until first responders could rescue him. They used an aluminum boat found nearby to get him to shore, the sheriff says. The man was the second person on an ATV to go through the ice in the central Minnesota county this weekend.

Larsen used the incidents to remind people the ice isn't safe, and when people go out on it they're not only putting themselves at risk of hypothermia if they fall into the cold water, but also endanger the lives of first responders.

Law enforcement officials across the state continue to echo a similar message. Isanti County Sheriff Vic Williams gave a public announcement Monday saying ice conditions are "hazardous" this time of year.

And in northwestern Minnesota, the Red Lake Police Department issued a warning to fishermen who still plan to venture out on the ice:

Some lakes are already free of ice

The mild winter – it was Minnesota's sixth warmest on record – has made ice conditions dangerous on many lakes throughout the state for weeks.

And weather officials say the lack of a lot of thick ice this winter, coupled with warmer temperatures this spring, could lead to earlier than normal ice-outs.

Some lakes in the southern third of the state, including the Twin Cities, have already lost most or all of their ice, according to the state Department of Natural Resources website.

The brown markers in the map at right show lakes that already have recorded ice-out dates. (Click here to view what lakes and the ice-out dates.)

The average ice-out date for this area is early April. In 2012 – a year that saw many record-breaking early ice-outs – the first reported ice-out date was March 12.

FOX 9 says temperatures above freezing this week, combined with rain in the forecast, could help more lakes lose ice before the average ice-out dates.

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