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Red flag warning issued for area counties

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for several counties throughout the state, including Freeborn and other surrounding counties.

A red flag warning means the area is experiencing critical weather conditions that are ideal for wildfire, including strong winds and low humidity, a press release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources states.

People should not burn while the warning remains in effect and should check any burning done recently to ensure the fire is out. Any spark could become a wildfire under red flag conditions.

The warning expires at 8 p.m.

It includes the following counties: Anoka, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Pipestone, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine.

Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said the restriction does not include recreational fires of 3-by-3-feet in size, but they are discouraged.