With low humidity and temperatures potentially reaching the 80s Monday, the National Weather Service is warning against outdoor burning in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
According to the National Weather Service, the wildfire threat is greatest in these areas with winds around 15 miles per hour and low humidity, in the 15 to 25 percent range.
“When combined with grasses that are still dormant from the long winter, even a cigarette butt or spark from a dangling trailer chain can spark grass fires that can then spread rapidly given the conditions,” the weather service warned on its Facebook page.
A red-flag warning is in effect for the entire afternoon and much of the evening for dozens of counties in Kansas and Missouri.
Highs the rest of the week will drop significantly compared to Monday, with highs in the lower to mid-50s through Thursday and the lower 60s Friday.
On Sunday, strong winds caused a “controlled burn” from Elwood, Kansas, to cross the river into St. Joseph, Missouri, damaging thousands of acres along the Missouri River and downtown St. Joe, according to the St. Joseph News-Press.
Mike Neylon, chief training officer with the St. Joseph Fire Department, said firefighters would continue to work the grassfire Monday, chasing hot spots and flare-ups.
No homes were damaged in the blaze, and no major injuries were reported.