Red flag warning issued


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – Due to wind and low relative humidity, a red flag warning has been issued for the western and central Upper Peninsula, including Florence and Marinette counties in Wisconsin.

The warning is in effect from noon to 8 p.m. today for the U.P. and from noon to 7 p.m. for Florence and Marinette counties.

National Weather Service officials said northwest winds of 10 to 15 mph in the U.P. could gust up to 25 mph today. Relative humidity will be as low as 18 percent.

Temperatures will be in the upper 60s to mid 70s.

In Florence and Marinette counties, the forecast calls for 12 to 17 mph winds from the northwest gusting up to 30 mph. Relative humidity will fall as low as 20 percent with temperatures rising into the middle to upper 70s.

Weather officials added burn restrictions are likely in effect.

A red flag warning is issued when critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or are imminent.

A combination of strong winds, very low relative humidity, warm temperatures and exceptionally dry fuels will create dangerous wildland fire conditions, officials said.

Campfires, outdoor grills, smoking materials, chain saws, and all-terrain vehicles all have the potential to throw a spark and ignite a dangerous and destructive fire.

In Iron County, firefighters from the Crystal Falls Fire Department responded to a grass fire in Crystal Falls Township on Tuesday.

The fire started at about 7:55 p.m. on U.S. 2 near Bible Camp Road.

Firefighters said that the fire consumed about one-tenth of an acre.

No cause was determined.

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, firefighters in the town of Gordon are working to contain a smoky wildfire in northwestern Wisconsin that has consumed 8,700 acres, destroyed nearly 50 structures and forced dozens from their homes.

The Department of Natural Resources says the wildfire in Douglas County is about 90 percent contained Wednesday morning, meaning firefighters have stopped most of the fire from spreading.

DNR spokesman Kevin Harter says 47 structures were lost, including 17 homes, but that firefighters were able to save 77 other buildings. He says no one was injured in the fire.

Harter says 22 evacuees stayed overnight at a high school in Drummond, 60 miles southeast of Duluth, Minn.

DNR officials say the wildfire was first reported Tuesday near the town of Barnes. Conservation wardens went door-to-door to alert area homeowners of the fire danger.