Red Flag Warning Issued in Missouri

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COLUMBIA - A red flag warning issued by The National Weather Service will be in effect until 7 p.m. Friday for central, east central and southeast Missouri.

A red flag warning is issued when weather conditions may cause fires to spread easily due to high winds and relatively low humidity.

Relative humidity may get as low as 20%, and southwest winds will be from 15-25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph on Friday.

Usually red flag warnings are issued during hot summer months, but this winter has been relatively dry allowing fuels like dry grass to catch on fire easily. When dry conditions and high winds combine there is a high possibility of fires spreading quickly.

Battalion Chief for the Boone County Fire District, Gale Blomenkamp, urges people to be careful to help prevent fires from starting and spreading.

"We ask people to use caution. Even a flick of a cigarette out of the car window can cause a significant natural cover fire in conditions like this, or a spark from a flat tire, Blomenkamp said. "So people need to be very diligent that they are discarding hot items or flames appropriately, and obviously no open burning today would be advised."

KOMU 8 News responded to the only fire that was reported Friday, but it was put out before we could get any information. 

The warning is issued from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. when conditions are expected to improve.