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Not cool: Excessive heat watch issued for parts of MN, new wildfire warnings

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Dry conditions, wind and heat have ratcheted up the forest fire risk across much of the northern half of Minnesota and driven up heat warnings as well.

The state Department of Natural Resources on Saturday said the fire risk is “high” in all or parts of 36 counties in central, east-central and northwest Minnesota and declared the risk “very high” in Carlton County and the southern part of St. Louis County, which includes Duluth, the Star Tribune reports.

The DNR has restricted burning of brush and leaves in seven central and eastern counties, but campfires in designated fire rings are still allowed in state parks and recreation areas, says the Strib.

Meanwhile, The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat advisory starting at noon Sunday and running through midnight Tuesday for most of the state.

The St. Cloud Times is reporting that the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for Southern and Central Minnesota. The watch will take effect Sunday afternoon and run through Wednesday evening, the paper says.

KARE 11 reports that the heat will begin building today and the air will become more unstable, producing spotty thunderstorms throughout the afternoon. The clouds should clear by Sunday but dew points will continue to soar, the station reports.

How hot is it? We're glad you asked. Even the Twin Ports of Dulth and Superior are under a heat advisory, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Highs on Sunday will be in the middle 90's with heat index values up to 105 degrees.

The National Weather Service warns that the hot and humid conditions will lead to a heightened risk of heat-related stress and illness, especially for the young and elderly, those without air conditioning and people participating in strenuous outdoor activities.

Experts advise people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms and out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

The Mayo Clinic has more on symptoms of heat-related syndromes that can range in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

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