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Red flag warning issued as fire danger high in west central Minnesota

The National Weather Service issued the red flag warning for extreme fire risk until 6 p.m. Sunday for multiple counties in southern Minnesota.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning beginning at noon today through 6 p.m. Sunday for multiple southern Minnesota counties.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning beginning at noon Sunday through 6 p.m. for multiple southern Minnesota counties.
Contributed / National Weather Service screen grab
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WILLMAR — The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning starting at noon and extending until 6 p.m. on Sunday for multiple counties in central and southern Minnesota due to extreme fire risk conditions.

The affected counties are:

Anoka, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Dakota, Douglas, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine.

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A red flag warning means the area is experiencing weather conditions that are ideal for wildfire, including strong winds and very low humidity levels. Residents should avoid open burning in counties where the warning is in effect and check any recent burn piles or areas to ensure the fire is completely out.

In addition to the red flag warning, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is restricting open burning in a larger geographic area.

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The burning restrictions apply in the following counties:

Anoka, Aitkin, Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Chippewa, Chisago, Cottonwood, Crow Wing Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Meeker, Morrison, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pine, Pipestone, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, South St. Louis, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Winona, Wright and Yellow Medicine.

The DNR will not issue permits for open burning of brush or yard waste in these counties until the burning restrictions are lifted. Residents should also take care with backyard campfires

“Extreme drought conditions in combination with dry fall vegetation, low humidity, and wind make for dangerous fire conditions,” said Allissa Reynolds, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor, in a news release. “Restricting open burning prevents a burn pile from escaping and becoming a wildfire.”

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 ( mndnr.gov/BurnRestrictions ).

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
news@wctrib.com or phone 320-235-1150.
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