(St. Paul, MN) – Conditions are expected to be prime for fire spread, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Warning in southwestern Minnesota.

Counties under the warning include Brown, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Watonwan, and Yellow Medicine.

The warning goes into effect at 1 p.m. and expires at 7 p.m.

Forecasters say strong, westerly winds will increase to 30 to 35 miles per hour this afternoon, with gusts around 50 miles per hour.  The wind, combined with low humidity, will create ideal conditions for wildfire.

Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged during a Red Flag warning.  Sheriff Jason Seidl has already issued a burning ban for Brown County, effective Wednesday only.

A wind advisory is also in effect for most surrounding counties.

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