WILLMAR -- The National Weather Service has expanded the red flag warning to include much of central and south central Minnesota and has been extended until 7 p.m. Thursday.
The warning area includes almost all of Minnesota, except the southeast and northeast corners of the state, along with most of South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, western North Dakota and north central Kansas.
The NWS warns that red flag conditions will resume this afternoon and continue through the early evening before winds subside and humidity levels slightly recover. By noon Thursday, south winds will increase even further to 15 to 25 mph with humidity again dropping to near 25 percent.
The wind and dry grasses, brush and crops could cause any fires to spread quickly under these conditions. Burning bans remain in place for Renville and Yellow Medicine counties.