A combination of gusty, dry, and warm conditions across much of Southern Minnesota created dangerous fire weather conditions that prompted a red flag warning through southern parts of the state.

Those conditions led to a scary situation that erupted near Waseca, as a grass fire quickly grew to around 1,000 acres on Sunday.

Fire officials told WCCO TV that while it was mostly grassland that burned, some structures were lost to the flames, and one person was hurt during the fire.

The dry, windy, and warm weather created the perfect conditions for this fire to quickly grow to the point where the smoke plume could be seen from miles away. The large plume of smoke, pushed by wind, led to poor air quality conditions from Waseca along Interstate 35 up to the Twin Cities area.

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The smoke plume was intense enough that it was picked up on Twin Cities weather radar. In the video below, you can see the plume pop up midday Sunday, quickly growing and pushing northward, reaching the northern Twin Cities suburbs before the wind changed later in the day, pushing the smoke eastward.

The fire was reported to be contained on Monday morning.

This was not the only fire reported in Minnesota over the weekend. The Fergus Falls Fire Department shared photos from a 1,000+ acre fire in Western Township, south of Fergus Falls on Sunday.

While the smoke from this fire didn't show up as prevalently on weather radar in the region, it did create air quality impacts for communities in the area as the fire burned. This fire was declared "contained" on Sunday evening.

With little to no snow on the ground across the state, an early and potentially active fire season is likely this spring. The dead grass and other plant life, when combined with weather that is particularly breezy and dry, can lead to more days like Sunday across the state this spring.

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