Warm air and gusty winds combined with dry vegetation are creating critical fire conditions in a swath from central Minnesota to western Kansas.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported sustained southwesterly winds, 20 to 25 mph, are expected across much of the region with a warm, dry air mass. Critical fire conditions were reached Sunday, with the Brainerd Fire Department receiving the updated status in the afternoon. An extended dry period, with just a scattered and brief shower in the lakes area Sunday night, has created dry fuel conditions across the region. And there isn’t an end in sight to dry conditions across the state’s midsection.
“These dry and windy conditions will result in critical fire weather conditions,” the NWS reported Sunday.
Highs in the Brainerd lakes area are expected to climb above average for the next two days. The NWS anticipates a high in the lakes area of 80 degrees Monday and 85 degrees Tuesday. The normal high for this time of year is 71 degrees.
Two sections of the nation were listed as critical fire conditions. The one in Minnesota covers the west central and southwestern sections of the state. The other critical fire area includes far northwestern North Dakota, parts of Montana and Idaho.
In the lakes area, temperatures should drop into the 70s beginning Wednesday with a stretch of sunny days ahead. There is not even a chance of rain listed in the seven-day forecast. Daytime highs are expected to range from upper 60s to low 70s during the week with overnight lows in the upper 40s.