As the weather is getting cooler, Brantford’s Fire Department and the Grand River Conservation Department urge people to be careful around the Grand River as it starts to freeze.

“Sections of the Grand River can freeze in the winter months, but this would be dependent on various conditions, including air temperature, river flows, river water temperature and other contributing factors; for example, groundwater temperature or water entering the river from wastewater treatment plants,” said Lisa Stocco, Manager of Communications for the Grand River Conservation Authority, in an email. “During the winter months, people should take extra care as river banks can be wet and slippery and the water is very cold, and hypothermia can set in within minutes.”

The Fire Department advises people to not only be careful and safe around water in the winter, but also at all times of the year.

“People should always be cautious around water, but especially when the currents are stronger than normal and around thin ice, which is common during the initial cold periods of winter,” said Dwayne Armstrong, Chief Fire Prevention Officer, in an email.

“The GRCA issues warnings especially during extreme events and flows,” said Robert Hillier, former board member of the Grand River Conservation Authority.

The thin ice is a safety concern, though the fire department is well prepared for any action they may need to take.

“The Brantford Fire Department trains its staff in ice water rescue response,” said Armstrong in an email.

Stocco encourages people of all ages to avoid water areas, especially if they seem unsafe, “The GRCA regularly reminds residents to use extreme caution near all watercourses, and in particular parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from watercourses.”