Fire DangerNorthwest Iowa — The strong winds in northwest Iowa Monday and Tuesday have prompted an Extreme Fire Danger advisory from the National Weather Service.

The Iowa Grassland Fire Danger Index rates most of the state, west of Interstate 35, in the “Extreme” danger category.  The most notable exception would be the northwest Iowa counties of Osceola, O’Brien, Dickinson, Clay, Cherokee, and Ida, all of which are at a “Very High” fire danger through Tuesday.  Lyon, Sioux, and Plymouth counties are all rated in the “Extreme” category.

The strong winds and dead or dormant plant life at this time of year, combine to cause the higher danger categories, according to Mike Gillispie of the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

We asked Gillispie for his best advice for those planning a controlled burn this week.

In addition to holding off on planned burns, please remember to dispose of smoking materials properly.  A lit cigarette thrown from a car window can start a blaze that will be very difficult to extinguish in the high winds.

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