Red Flag Warning issued as high wind, heat combine for elevated fire risk

PLEASANT HILL, Mo. - The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill has issued a Red Flag Warning as fire risks grow in the extreme heat.

The warning is in effect Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and affects all areas from Blue Mound, Kan., to Clinton, Sedalia and Boonville in Missouri, northward to the Iowa and Nebraska border.

In an alert posted online , the Weather Service says "critical fire danger expected this afternoon" as winds increase from the southwest and temperatures climb to near 105 degrees.

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"Localized pockets of dry lightning may occur," the alert warns. The peak lightning times will be from 5 to 7 p.m. across far northwest Missouri and extreme northeast Kansas.

Conditions are expected to improve, with rain possible later and an approaching cool front, according to the NWS.

"Any fires, particularly over grassy areas, will likely spread rapidly to the northeast," the NWS alert said. "Outdoor burning should be avoided."

The alert also cautioned against leaving grills unattended and driving or parking on grassy areas.

Conditions will improve this evening with increasing rain chances and an approaching cool front, the NWS said.

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