Skip to main content

Gusty winds fuel grass fires, could also cause problems for drivers


Wind gusts could reach 50 mph in parts of Minnesota Monday, possibly causing problems for motorists and fueling grass fires.

After record-setting warmth Sunday, strong winds are expected across the region (and bring much cooler temperatures).

Sustained wind speeds of more than 30 mph are expected, with wind gusts above 50 mph likely in western Minnesota through Monday afternoon, while the Twin Cities could see gusts exceed 40 mph, the National Weather Service says.

The agency has issued a high wind warning for much of western Minnesota and a wind advisory for eastern Minnesota into western Wisconsin until late afternoon into the early evening.

High wind speeds could make driving difficult for high-profile vehicles, cause areas of blowing dust, and blow around loose outdoor objects, the National Weather Service notes.

There have been some reports of damage due to Monday's high winds. Trees were knocked down in West St. Paul from "non-thunderstorm winds", the National Weather Service's preliminary storm report shows.

High fire danger

Strong and gusty winds can lead to tricky fire behavior, the weather service says. Winds, combined with drier air and low humidity, can create "less than ideal conditions if any grass or crop fires" start.

The fire danger is high Monday for portions of southwestern Minnesota, which has the agency urging caution for people harvesting or driving in dormant grasses.

Sunday's heat and high winds fueled brush fires and increased the fire danger in North Dakota, the Grand Forks Herald reports. Officials in Stutsman County responded to roughly a dozen fires Sunday afternoon.

“There were no injuries today that I am aware of,” Stutsman County, North Dakota, Emergency Manager Jerry Bergquist told the Jamestown Sun Sunday. “There was the home that was lost and a couple of other fires came close enough to melt siding on other homes.”

Pillager, Minnesota, area fire and rescue also responded to a grass fire near Camp Ripley Sunday night, according to a post on Facebook. A tree had fallen on a power line, which caused the fire. It took officials about 4.5 hours to control the blaze.

It's not clear what cause the tree to fall.

Winds are expected to diminish somewhat Monday night, with cooler and dry weather expected for most of the week, the weather service says.

Next Up

18 wheeler - tractor trailer - semi truck

MN trucking firm that used 'strength tests' to screen out women drivers to pay $500K

The company will pay $500,000 and offer jobs to the women it discriminated against.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

On-the-run man charged with murder in fatal shooting at gas station

The suspect hasn't been arrested, and court documents say he poses a risk to public safety.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, December 8

The latest details from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 9.27.07 AM

Couple ending festive lights display after dispute with sheriff over trespassing

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald addressed complaints from over the summer on Facebook Saturday.

st louis co missing person terry - edit

MN man, 60, still missing despite 'extensive search efforts'

Local authorities are now asking for the public's help locating the man.

uncle sven's

Beloved Uncle Sven's Comic Shoppe in St. Paul closes after 39 years

The hallway-sized shop with "a big heart" closed in late November.

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 9.07.03 AM

'Weird Al' Yankovic to perform in 3 Minnesota cities in the summer

The singer will make stops in Duluth, Mankato and Minneapolis.

dual citizen brewing

St. Paul brewery to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test

Staff will also be required to wear masks and test negative for COVID.

snow, snowplow

Winter storm watch issued as Friday storm track wobbles

The latest model runs show the heaviest snow a bit north of where the watch is in place.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Talbot leads Wild to 7th straight victory

The Wild opened a four-game road trip with a win in Edmonton.


Woman, 72, burned in grass fire

Patricia Pauna, 72, was air-lifted to a hospital in Duluth after she received severe burns to her arms and legs when when she tried to put a grass fire with a shovel in rural Itasca County, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The fire had started in a pit and spread to nearby tall grasses. Local fire crews and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources put it out.

grass fire

Strong winds fuel fire, down power lines in east-central MN

A fire at a mobile home spread to roughly 3 acres of grass and woodland in Wadena County early Tuesday morning.

Wind continues to be a problem in Boundary Waters wildfire fight

Strong winds over the weekend made the airborne efforts unsafe. While windy weather is in the forecast for the next few days, rain showers and potential snow flurries will help put a damper on the remaining fires.