Oakville Fire warns residents to stay off all frozen bodies of water as temperatures rise

Friday, February 26, 2021

With spring nearing, many are looking forward to warmer temperatures and enjoying the outdoors. The Oakville Fire department is reminding residents to stay off all bodies of water that appear to be frozen, as changing weather can cause rapid and significant changes to ice conditions.

Sunlight and solar radiation travelling through clear ice can cause the water below to warm and melt from the bottom up. When water is flowing above or below the ice surface, such as the inflows to storm management ponds, it will weaken, creating unstable and dangerous conditions.

"Warmer conditions and rain will cause water levels and flows to fluctuate, resulting in changing and unpredictable ice thickness,” Oakville Fire Chief Paul Boissonneault. “Once ice starts to deteriorate, as it already has this year, the thickness is no longer an indication of its strength. Ice can be a foot thick in some areas, and extremely thin in others. With milder temperatures in the forecast, please communicate this important safety message to your children and exercise caution around all frozen bodies of water. Be safe. Stay off the ice.”

Stormwater management ponds play an important role in our environment and are not suitable for recreational activities at any time of the year. Please never skate, walk or toboggan on these ponds. If you see someone fall through ice, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

To learn more about water safety, watch this informative informative video from Fire Chief Paul Boissonneault.

Throughout the town, there are many safe and fun outdoor winter activities for the entire family to enjoy.