Cowley County and much of the state of Kansas is placed under a High Wind Warning until 6 p.m. Friday. There is also a Red Flag Warning for Cowley County and much of Kansas until 6 p.m. this evening.

The High Wind Warning includes the following counties for the National Weather Service Wichita office area:  Saline, McPherson, Marion, Chase, Reno, Harvey, Butler, Kingman, Sedgwick, Harper, Sumner and Cowley.

We’re likely to see northwest winds 30 to 45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph across the warned area. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.

With high winds, that can be a strong fuel for fire. That’s why the National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a Red Flag Warning for the following counties: Russell, Lincoln, Barton, Ellsworth, Saline, Rice, McPherson, Reno, Harvey, Kingman, Sedgwick, Harper, Sumner, Marion, Chase, Butler, Cowley, Greenwood, Woodson, Allen, Elk, Wilson, Neosho, Chautauqua, Montgomery and Labette.

Extreme grassland fire danger is in the forecast. Besides the powerful winds as mentioned earlier, humidity will be as low as 18 to 24 percent.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and become very difficult to control. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

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.

Please advise the appropriate officials or fire crews in the field of this fire weather product.