UPPER RED LAKE ICE CONDITIONS AND RESCUE
At 9:50 AM this morning, the Beltrami County Sheriff's 911 Communications Center received several 911 calls from people stranded on ice flows on Upper Red Lake north of Kelliher (approximately 60 miles north of Bemidji).
Approximately 48-50 people were fishing with portable ice houses on the east side of Upper Red Lake. The wind and the poor conditions of the ice caused existing cracks to widen and and chunks of ice broke free.
Responding to the scene were Kelliher Fire with their rescue equipment, Blackduck Ambulance, Beltrami County Sheriff's Deputies, Minnesota DNR officers and the Bemidji Fire Department, along with resort owners. A safe path to retreat from the lake was established along with equipment made available.
As of 12:33 PM, there are no stranded people left on the lake. However crews remain in the area and Kelliher Fire is checking the shoreline to assure that all are aware of the dangers.
The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office advises at this time no one should be on the ice due to the dangerous winds and fissures throughout the area. The next several days will continue to be a dangerous combination for those wanting to fish. A satellite photo shows the majority of Upper Red Lake is open and there are extreme cracks in the area where very light ice remains.
For your safety and the safety of our emergency responders please stay off the ice.