Marion County in extreme fire grassland fire danger (Friday)

The National Weather Service office in Wichita issued a red flag warning for extreme grassland fire danger in effect until 7 p.m. for all of Marion County.

Winds are expected to be from the south at 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph; the relative humidity could be as low as 17 percent.

A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior, according to a NWS official.

A red flag warning means critical fire weather conditions either are occurring now or will be shortly. Marion County officials received the warning around 9:45 a.m.

In a Feb. 21 meeting with the Marion County Board of Commissioners, Fred Sheridan, Lehigh fire chief, said the four wind speeds of concern include high, very high, extreme and red flag.

“We are not worried about moderate or low (wind speeds), and we will still allow control burns when the winds are high, but if it’s very high, extreme or red flag, it’s no burn,” Kaiser said.

Currently, neither county fire chiefs nor the Emergency Management director have the authority to determine fire dangers based on contributing factors.

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