The National Weather Service has decided to extend a red flag warning for Southwest Minnesota, with the warning taking effect at noon today and continuing through 7 p.m. tonight.
The warning also was expanded to include more counties. Counties now included in the warning are: Big Stone, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.
A red flag warning means that conditions are ideal for the spread of wildfire. Those conditions include strong winds and minimal humidity levels. Any fires that develop in the warned area could spread rapidly.
Residents are advised against doing any new burning in the counties, and any recent burning should be completely extinguished.
Additionally, yesterday afternoon, the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Department implemented an immediate ban of all burning, until further notice. The burn ban prompted the decision to cancel the homecoming bonfire for Windom Area High School.