Fire risk: Red Flag Warning issued for western half of Minnesota

Screenshot from showing Red Flag Warning for April 6, 2024.

Officials are issuing a Red Flag Warning as conditions create an extreme fire risk for counties along the western border, west central and southwest parts of Minnesota.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the warning includes 32 counties across the state and will be in place on Saturday, April 6, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Those counties are Becker, Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Clay, Cottonwood, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Marshall, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wadena, Watonwan, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine. 

The NWS says a Red Flag Warning means "fires can spread quickly and easily progress out of control under the predicted weather conditions, including strong wind and low relative humidity levels."

Residents in those counties are told to not have any fires while the Red Flag Warning is in place and should check any recent burning to make sure the fire is completely out. 

Campfires are discouraged and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said it will not activate any open burning permits for large vegetative debris while the warning is in place. 

In addition to the Red Flag warning, there is a high fire danger predicted for central, east central, and southeast Minnesota because of high winds and low relative humidity, according to NWS.

Updates on Red Flag Warnings can be found on the National Weather Service website. 

Current statewide fire danger and burning restrictions can be found on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.