A vehicle was discovered broken through the ice on North Long Lake Wednesday afternoon by a passing cross-country skier.

The skier said it appeared the vehicle drove over the pressure ridge before breaking through on the other side. The back tires of the car were seen broken through the ice, while the rest of the car remained on top of the ice. The vehicle was seen near the access off Birchdale Road.

When officers arrived to check on the status of the vehicle Wednesday evening, it was already gone.

Officers who checked the scene observed a single set of vehicle tracks traveling in that area, according to Sgt. Jon Vukelich of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's office.

Vukelich said it's common for the ice heave areas to be unsafe.

"The ice is never really safe, especially with the warmer weather that we've received and now with the snow on top of it," Vukelich said.

Vukelich said those traveling on area lakes should take caution to avoid a dangerous situation.

The Minnesota DNR suggests those traveling on frozen lakes should contact a local bait shop or lakeside resort to ask about ice conditions and check ice thickness upon arrival.

Temperature, snow cover, currents, springs and rough fish all affect the relative safety of ice. Ice is seldom the same thickness over a single body of water; it can be 2-feet thick in one place and 1-inch thick a few yards away. Those who are out on the ice are advised to check the ice at least every 150 feet.