GRAND FORKS -- The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for a large portion of Minnesota beginning at noon Monday, March 29. It expires at 1 a.m. Tuesday, March 30.

Strong winds gusting up to 40 to 50 mph and low relative humidity will result in extreme fire risk. A Red Flag Warning means that critical weather conditions are ideal for a wildfire to spread quickly, a release said.

The following counties in the Red Flag Warning include: Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Cass, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Meeker, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine.

Do not burn 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. If you do spot an escaped wildfire, call 911.

Learn before you burn:

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  • Statewide fire danger and burning restrictions are updated daily on the Minnesota DNR website www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html

  • For information on wildfires in Minnesota, visit www.mnics.org

  • For active fire updates follow the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center on Twitter @MNICS, or DNR Forestry @mnforestry for up-to-date statewide fire conditions.