UPDATED: 'Red Flag Warning' issued for fires
BEMIDJI -- A Red Flag Warning for fire was issued Tuesday for several counties in northern Minnesota, including north Beltrami County. And the Bemidji area also was listed as “very high fire danger” rating Tuesday.
Most of the north half of Minnesota was under very high fire danger Tuesday, including a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service for the following counties:
Beltrami (north), Polk (west), Kittson, Roseau, Lake Of The Woods, Marshall (west), Marshall (east), Pennington, Red Lake, Polk (east), Clearwater (north), and Koochiching.
A Red Flag Warning means the area is experiencing extreme weather conditions that are ideal for wildfire, including dry vegetation and gusty winds. Authorities advise that resident do not burn anything while the Red Flag Warning remains in effect and check any burning done recently to ensure the fire is out. Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions.
The Red Flag Warning expired at 8 p.m.
Also, the Bemidji Fire Department said the local area is in a very high fire danger rating Tuesday.
“Despite recent rains, gusty southwest winds over 20 mph combined with low relative humidity values to create near critical fire weather conditions,” the release said. “Any fire that starts may spread rapidly.”
The weather service forecast for Wednesday calls for a high temperature of 80, but winds should die down to the single digits to low teens. There’s a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, and 50 percent chance of rain on Thursday.