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It's as dry as a desert in parts of Minnesota


It's as dry as a desert in parts of Minnesota.

But unlike a desert, Minnesota has plenty of vegetation to burn – and crews were already battling a wildfire just west of Bemidji at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Beltrami County Authorities are calling for home evacuations as "air attack" and ground crews work to contain the blaze, a Facebook post indicates.

This comes after the National Weather Service has issued Red Flag fire warnings across the state, affecting central and and northern Minnesota, and portions of southern Minnesota as well, according to a NWS alert.

The agency's Chanhassen office told BringMeTheNews things in the northern half of the state could be especially bad, with relative humidity in the 15-20 percent range.

That's quite dry for this time of year – a NWS forecaster said the desert in the southwestern U.S. can "commonly get as dry" as northern Minnesota is going to get this afternoon.

Unfortunately, with a combination of high winds and moisture-starved vegetation (thanks to an especially mild winter that saw relatively little snowfall), the area is ripe for grassfires.

The NWS says "any fires that get started will likely spread rapidly."

This week, a large-scale grassfire in the Red River Valley singed about 1,000 acres.

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