Due to low humidity levels, high winds as well as dry and dead vegetation, Rolla Rural Fire Protection District Chief Roger Hayes has issued a burn ban on open burning in Phelps County, which will remain in effect through midnight.

Hayes said the burn ban comes after the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for Phelps County on Thursday. The weather service expects southerly winds to increase to 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of 30 to 45 miles per hour. 

Humidity levels are expected to also drop throughout the day, causing elevated fire weather conditions. 

In a news release on Thursday, Hayes thanked everyone for their effort to support fire safety.