The holidays may make ice skating on a scenic lake or farm pond seem like a fun, old-fashioned activity. Ken Hines with the Boone County Fire Protection District says it’s a bad idea in this part of the country, though. He says there’s no sure way to be certain outdoor ice is thick enough without cutting a hole through it to see if it is 4 inches thick. He says, if you do plan to ice skate on private property, take someone with you, and avoid any ice with melted water on top. Hines is spokesman for the Boone County Fire Protection District, and for Missouri’s only urban search and rescue unit.