Weather: Extreme fire risk conditions prompt expanded Red Flag Warning
In the Brainerd area, winds 10-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph combined with a low relative humidity of 15%-25% means any fires that ignite could spread rapidly and become difficult to control.
BRAINERD — The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for a majority of Minnesota from noon-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, due to extreme fire risk conditions.
Affected counties include Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine.
In Aitkin, Cass and Crow Wing counties, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported winds 10-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph combined with a low relative humidity of 15%-25% means any fires that ignite could spread rapidly and become difficult to control.
A Red Flag Warning means fires can spread quickly and easily progress out of control under the current weather conditions, including gusty winds and low humidity. Residents should not burn in those counties where a Red Flag Warning is in effect and should check any recent burning they may have done to ensure the fire is completely out. The DNR will not issue or activate open burning permits during the Red Flag Warning, and campfires are discouraged.
“Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions,” said Karen Harrison, DNR wildfire prevention specialist, in a news release.
Red Flag Warnings are evolving situations. Visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov for updates.
For more information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/burnrestrictions .