Generally true of all dangerous activities. This is the purpose of “play” you practice dangerous things in relatively safe, intentional “silly” space, so when you have an actual leopard trying to eat you, you’re not trying newbie stuff for the first time.
When one encounters a field or an opening with grass, it is more likely than not burnt, yellowish ferns are a norm rather than an exception at this time of the year, and ditches which used to have a stream of water are barren.
If the upcoming winter is dry without much snow, the ground water levels won't be replenished and, with the lack of rain, next year will be worse.
The high heat creates local thunders with apparently do not carry much rainfall. Lightning strikes seem to have started at least a few of this years forest fires.
If you have been swimming in ice-water, you already know that you survive several minutes without a problem. Ice claws hanging from a neck strap make it easy to crawl into safety. You have dry clothes in watertight container in you backpack if you are far away from warmth, of course.
Edit: and if I'd read a few comments down I'd have found this without Google.
There's nothing "wild" about this, not more than taking a run in an actual forest.
For me, in Brazil, surrounded by waterfalls and beaches it's not only common but also necessary for you to relax sometimes.
After learning more about this, I would only go with other people now.
Bonus video: https://youtu.be/eGdvQVoQOUQ
A quick search turned up these guidelines for ice: http://www.natuurijswijzer.nl/ijsontwikkeling/ijsdikte/
0-4 cm: unsafe
4-8 cm: strong enough for a single skater
8-12 cm: suitable for larger numbers
12-15 cm: time for the Elfstedentocht (a 200km skate marathon; we haven't had one in 20 years)