Update: The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement this morning, Monday March 8, warning of "very high to critical fire danger today". Their statement goes on to say: 

Dry conditions are expected again today with dew points near 30 degrees. With temperatures warming into the lower 70s, relative humidity values are expected to fall to 20-25 percent this afternoon. South to southwest winds of 15-20 mph gusting to 20-25 mph are expected from late morning through sunset. While winds are expected to be slightly less today, any fires that develop would likely spread rapidly, thus outdoor burning is once again strongly

This morning the National Weather Service in Kansas City issued a Red Flag warning for most of West Central Missouri including Sedalia, Knob Noster and Warrensburg. Just after 1:00 PM CST the Pettis County Sheriff's Department sent a Nixle alert asking people to stay away from the area around Bothwell Park Lodge due to fires in the area.

The National Weather Service Kansas City says, "the dry conditions with southerly wind gusts 30 to 35 mph will create very high fire danger conditions this afternoon."  And they ask people to avoid all burning.

In Knob Noster the fire department has instituted a burn ban until the area receives some rain. The Pettis County Fire Department has asked people not to burn today because of the dry conditions. Additionally the department says they responded to twelve calls yesterday. The Johnson County Fire Protection District has posted a similar plea to Pettis County. And the City of Warrensburg has stopped issuing burn permits and prohibited open burning until further notice. This according to the Warrensburg Fire Department.

Bottom line: The threat for grass and brush fires is great. Don't toss lit cigarettes out of vehicle windows. Don't engage in open burning. Secure trailer chains from dragging. Avoid using equipment that could spark a wildfire.

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