A red flag warning has been issued for most of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana on Saturday as gusty winds and extremely dry conditions create concerns over potential fires.
According to the National Weather Service, Kane, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois are all impacted by the warning, which will go into effect at 10 a.m. Saturday and expire at 8 p.m. Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties in northwest Indiana are also listed on the warning.
All of those counties, along with McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois, are also under a wind advisory due to the gusty conditions.
According to current forecast models, wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour will be possible Saturday, especially in the early afternoon hours. With those gusty winds, and with low humidity levels, forecasters are warning of an increased threat of wildfires and brush fires Saturday, with flames potentially spreading quickly if not immediately put out.
Residents are being asked to postpone any planned burnings, and to postpone any activity that could create sparks in a dry location.
The National Weather Service says that conditions Saturday are extremely similar to those the area saw on Wednesday, when numerous field and brush fires were reported across the region.
The winds will slowly begin to subside in the evening hours, but gusts of up to 40 miles per hour are still possible late Saturday and into Sunday, according to forecast models.