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Fire Risk Still Heightened

August 6, 2012, 6:18 PM by Ben Cathey

Fire Risk Still Heightened

Though it's heating up again and there's a chance for rain later this week, KELOLAND is still on a heightened alert for possible wildfires. 

A Red Flag Warning is up for most of our Nebraska counties through midnight Central time Tuesday.  Winds coming in from the southwest will force a drop in the humidity and the resulting drop in moisture could provide more dry grasses and trees to fuel a new blaze. Thunderstorms are in the forecast, particularly for much of northern Nebraska.  Any spotty storms that do form will likely not produce a lot of rain. What those storms could carry is lots of lightning, which could be a possible fire starter.  It could become even more of a concern as winds begin to gust overnight.

Much of this week looks dry in the Hills.  Dry conditions are causing an "Extreme Fire Danger" through at least Tuesday.  The Black Hills often have dry lightning especially when moisture is in shorter supply.  That lightning has already been a big player in this year's active fire season. 

It's not all Mother Nature's fault.  In fact, two fires still burning in South Dakota were actually caused by people.  Both have charred more than 450 acres.  The Sleeper Fire in Ziebach County is near containment while the West Nike Fire just north of Rapid City is already contained. 

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