Voluntary Evacuations Ordered Amid Brush Fires in Alsip

The evacuated area includes roughly 50 homes, officials said

Voluntary evacautions were called for dozens of homes in Alsip Tuesday afternoon as multiple brush fires burned along train tracks, impacting "many businesses and homes." 

At least two massive brush fires sparked in the Chicago area Tuesday morning just moments before a Red Flag Warning took effect in several counties. 

Chief Jerald Miller with the Alsip Fire Department said authorities have called for a voluntary evacuation from Kostner and Joalyce Drive to 115 and Joalyce Drive, which includes about 50 homes. Those impacted can take shelter in the Prairie Junior High School cafeteria, officials said.

"Everyone is asked to stay indoors and avoid the impacted areas," Alsip police wrote on their Facebook page. 

There were no reported injuries as of Tuesday afternoon.

The large blaze downed power lines and left some in the Mount Greenwood area without power, according to authorities in Chicago's 22nd Police District. 

Marist High School also reported the blaze, located one mile south of the school. 

"We are monitoring the situation and in contact with local authorities," the school said in a statement on Twitter.

Aerial Photos Capture Massive Flames as Brush Fire Erupts in Chicago Area

Images from the scene showed large black clouds of smoke shooting into the sky. 

Another increasingly large brush fire was reported in Pembroke Township in Kankakee County. 

The fire area stretched for 4 square miles, officials said. It wasn't clear if any structures were damaged but no evacuations had been ordered as of 3 p.m. 

Officials said windy and dry conditions are major factor

The Kankakee County Sheriff's office confirmed it was assisting, but the Pembroke Fire Protection District was handling the case. 

Further information wasn't immediately known but flames continued to burn Tuesday afternoon. 

Agencies from multiple areas, including northwest Indiana, are assisting with the response.

All of the Chicago area was put under Red Flag Warning beginning at noon Tuesday and continuing until 7 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, “the combination of strong winds, very low relative humidity, exceptionally dry fuels and warm temperatures will promote extremely dangerous behavior of any fires.”

The weather service said "critical fire weather conditions" will likely be seen. 

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