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Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Airboat deploys from the marina area (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

‘Stay off the ice’ – Fire Rescue

By Adam Riley Feb 12, 2024 | 2:26 PM

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is warning residents to stay off the ice on water bodies in and around the city.

This is due to unseasonably warmer weather the area as seen over the past several weeks.

“In a normal cover year the ice will just keep thickening as the temperatures drop and keep getting more solid,” says Acting Deputy Fire Chief Jonathon Balabuck before bluntly stating “All bets are off this year.”

What the area has seen is best described by Balabuck as an extreme warning midwinter and now what anyone would normally think is safe ice is just not for the immediate future and even the drop in temperature over the past few days.

Putting a lot of resources on a very dangerous situation.

Balabuck notes harbour ice is also very unstable, adding people shouldn’t be venturing out to the break wall even in good ice years.

“For some reason that’s still a thing and I’m saying do not do it. You will be escorted off, the only safe ice in Thunder Bay right now is a hockey rink.”

Last year, according to Balabuck, a total of 15 ice rescues were performed on Thunder Bay’s waterways, which put both rescuees and rescuers in harms way unnecessarily.