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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The dry and warm conditions, coupled with gusty winds, have prompted a Red Flag Warning for southern Minnesota.

The National Service Service says the warning for an extreme fire risk will remain in effect until 6 PM. It covers Olmsted, Dodge, Mower, Fillmore, Houston, Winona, Freeborn, and Steele Counties in southeastern Minnesota, along with several counties in south-central and southwestern Minnesota.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

According to the National Weather Service, the Red Flag Warning means "fires can spread quickly and easily progress out of control."

“Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions,” said Karen Harrison, DNR wildfire prevention specialist.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

The warning says residents should not burn in the counties and check that any recent fires they may have had to make sure they are completely extinguished.

The forecast for the Rochester area calls for an afternoon high in the low 70s with south winds gusting to 45 mph or higher. The winds are forecast to die down a bit tonight, but gusts above 30 mph are still expected before a cold front arrives tomorrow and brings with it a good possibility of rain.

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