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Much of North Dakota, Minnesota under red flag fire warning today

FARGO — A red flag fire warning has been issued for most of North Dakota and Minnesota between noon and 7 p.m. Friday, May 4, according to the National Weather Service.

A red flag warning, an upgrade from a fire weather warning, means there’s high confidence that critical fire weather conditions are going to occur, said Andrew Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

The fire conditions are being created with humidity dropping to less than 25 percent and wind speeds up to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph, Moore said.

Most of eastern North Dakota, including Cass County, has a “very high” fire danger rating, according to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

Minnesota’s Clay, Becker, Wilkin, Norman and Otter Tail counties have a “very high” fire danger rating, and Mahnomen and Clearwater counties have an “extreme” fire danger rating, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Many North Dakota counties, such as Grand Forks, Steele and Barnes, have issued burn bans or restrictions. No Minnesota counties have full burn bans, but many have burning restrictions.

Fargo’s Cass County and Moorhead’s Clay County do not have burn bans in place.

Moore warned that most fires are caused by humans and urged extra precautions. Things that can start wildfires include campfires, throwing a cigarette butt out a car window, dragging metal chains on vehicles and hot engines of vehicles parked in the grass.

Only far western parts of North Dakota and some southern parts of Minnesota are excluded from the red flag fire warning, he said.

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