Dry and windy weather is posing dangerous fire conditions for most of the state, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a “red flag warning.”

The warning that is in effect from noon to 7 p.m. covers an area that extends from northern Minnesota to Mankato and includes the Twin Cities. The warning means conditions are ideal for wildfires. The red flag area doesn’t include southern Minnesota after recent rains drenched that area.

The weather service said many locations in central and northern Minnesota will experience northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph along with relative humidity of 15 to 25 percent. The Department of Natural Resources warns that no burning should be done while the warning is in effect and that recent burns be checked to ensure the fire is out. Any spark could start a wildfire, the DNR said.

The counties included in the red flag area include: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Nicollet, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, St Louis, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Washington, Wilkin, Wright, Yellow Medicine.

For updates, check with mndnr.gov/burnrestrictions, and follow @mnforestry on Twitter.