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Death in Carlton prompts safety warnings

Carlton snowmobile death prompts safety warnings
Carlton snowmobile death prompts safety warnings

The week of Jan. 10 – 16 is Snowmobile Safety Week, and a snowmobile death in Carlton County Saturday prompts several reminders about sled safety from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Even with the Christmas snowfall and light snow this past weekend, the DNR says we still have challenging trail conditions. The snow we’ve had so far is both a blessing and a curse, according to Les Ollila, who is the DNR’s Northeast trails manager.  He said in some areas, there is barely enough snow to groom. Riders can check out current Cook County snow conditions at on our website.

But regardless of trail conditions, there are a few reminders the DNR would like snowmobilers to keep in mind – chief among them are speed and riding under the influence. Both were alleged factors in the Carlton County death, according to Fond du Lac police and the Carlton County sheriff.

Other cautions to consider while riding include being prepared for emergencies, heed trail caution and hazard signs and avoid traveling across bodies of water when uncertain of the ice thickness.