NWS Red Flag Warning UPDATE: 'Critical Fire Danger' in Kane County

NWS Red Flag Warning UPDATE: ‘Critical Fire Danger’ in Kane County


In the wake of devastating fires on the West Coast, it’s important to recognize that we are in the midst of a “critical fire danger” warning right here in Kane County, Illinois.

The National Weather Service Chicago is alerting Northern Illinois residents to a Red Flag Warning in effect from noon to 7 p.m. for several counties including Kane and DuPage.

The NWS is citing “critical fire weather conditions for portions of Eastern Illinois and Northwest Indiana.”

In addition to Kane and DuPage, the area affected includes nearby Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties, plus Porter, Newton, Jasper, LaSalle, Benton, Livinginston, Iroquois and Ford counties in Illinois and Lake County, IN.

There will be winds of 20 to 30 mph from the south, with gusts of 45 to 50 mph.

The timing is this afternoon through early this evening, but windy conditions are expected tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020), as well.

The relative humidity will be as low as 25%.

“The combination of strong winds, very low relative humidity, exceptionally dry fuels, and warm temperatures will promote extremely dangerous behavior of any fires,” the NWS Red Flag Warning says. “Any outdoor burning is strongly discouraged today.”

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Breezy northwest winds may result in a continued elevated fire danger into Saturday. Temperatures near to below freezing are possible Thursday night into early Friday morning, mainly north and west of I-55.

Very Windy Conditions

South to southwesterly winds may gust as high as 45 to 50 mph this afternoon.

A Wind Advisory is in effect from Noon to 7 p.m. for much of the area as a result.

These winds will be strong enough to compromise tent structures and make travel difficult for high profile vehicles on east to west oriented roadways today.

Breezy Conditions Continue

Breezy conditions continue the rest of the week and into the weekend.

There will be a brief chance for some light showers south and east of I-55 and 57 Thursday morning, but otherwise dry conditions are expected.

Freezing temperatures are possible away from Chicago Thursday night into Friday morning.

SOURCE: National Weather Service Chicago