Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- Officials are warning residents of southeast Minnesota of an elevated fire risk Wednesday. 

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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Olmsted, Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Wabasha and Winona Counties. The warning in the Rochester area takes effect at 11 a.m. and is set to expire at 8 p.m. 

Officials have also issued a Red Flag Warning in Freeborn, Faribault Jackson and Martin Counties that begins at 1 p.m. and expires at 8 p.m. The DNR says the forecasted warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds paired with dry early spring conditions can cause a fire to quickly spread out of control. 

They’re asking residents in Rochester and the surrounding communities to avoid burning today and advise anyone who has done any recent burning to ensure the fire is out. The DNR is discouraging campfires and will not issue any open burning permits during a Red Flag Warning. 

Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions, said Karen Harrison, DNR wildfire prevention specialist. 

The DNR has set up a website depicting wildfire risk across the state. The site is available by clicking here.

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