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Published April 23, 2009, 09:56 AM

ALERT: Weather Service issues fire warning

The National Weather Service in Twin Cities/Chanhassen has issued a red flag warning (fire weather warning) for St. Croix County, which is in effect until 7 p.m. this evening (Thursday).

The National Weather Service in Twin Cities/Chanhassen has issued a red flag warning (fire weather warning) for St. Croix County, which is in effect until 7 p.m. this evening (Thursday).

The warning includes much of western Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Southerly winds will continue to increase this morning into the 25 to 35 mph range out ahead of a cold front dropping south across northern Minnesota. The strong southerly winds will also help

usher in unseasonably warm air into the warned area, resulting in highs this afternoon getting into the mid 70s to lower 80s.

With dry air still in place, this will allow afternoon humidities to drop into the 25 percent range. The strong winds and low relative humidities will combine with dry fuels in place to yield dangerous wildfire conditions this afternoon for the warned area.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will

create explosive fire growth potential.

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