With extreme fire risk conditions across most of Minnesota this afternoon, the National Weather Service has expanded a Red Flag Warning to include the following counties:

Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Grant, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake Of The Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Todd, Wadena and Wilkin.

A Red Flag Warning means the area is experiencing critical weather conditions that are ideal for wildfire, including strong winds and low humidity. Do not burn while the Red Flag Warning remains in effect and check any burning done recently to ensure the fire is out. Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions.

The Red Flag Warning expires at 8 p.m.

Near critical fire weather conditions are expected across all of northwest Wisconsin and northeast Minnesota today.

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Southerly winds will increase to sustained at around 15 mph with gusts from 25 to 30 mph.

When combined with dry conditions, near critical fire weather conditions are possible. Check with your local authorities for any fire restrictions.