WILLMAR -- The National Weather Service in Chanhassen today has issued a fire weather watch for Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening in southwest Minnesota, including the Willmar region.
The Weather Service is forecasting gusty southwest wind, low humidity and dry fuels. According to the weather watch statement, southwest winds will increase to around 20 mph Saturday, with the potential for gusts near 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Given the dry air mass and low humidity values already in place, the weather watch has been issued along and southwest of a line from Morris through Willmar and Mankato and down through Blue Earth.
The Weather Service says fires could become fast moving in a short period of time due to the gusty winds and low humidity.
Counties in the watch are Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Faribault, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Martin, Nicollet, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Stevens, Swift, Watonwan and Yellow Medicine.