Dickinson County is in an extreme fire danger area today (Wednesday) and is at high risk for rangeland fires, according to information from the National Weather Service in Topeka.
With unseasonably warm temperatures for March nearing 80, high winds, low dew points and dry grassland, the rangeland fire index is in the extreme category this afternoon.
Extreme fire danger means that fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All outdoor burning should be avoided in areas with extreme fire danger.
Much of Dickinson County also is in a burn ban (see map) so people sould check with local authorities to ensure burning is allowed.
The area also is in a red flag warning, meaning that critical fire weather conditions are already occurring or are expected to occur. Those conditions include strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures.
A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. tonight, with south to southwest winds sustained at 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.
There’s also a chance for thunderstorms late this afternoon and tonight. Although they are not expected to be severe, there’s a possibility a few severe storms could form with large hail around an inch in diameter being the main hazard, according to the NWS office.
Temperatures are expected to cool down for Thursday.