Hot, dry and windy conditions have prompted several area fire departments to declare burn bans in effect for the day.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning for all of southeast Michigan, in effect until 8pm. It was issued because any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly due to steady winds and wind gusts, rising temperatures and low relative humidity.

Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged, with many local fire departments instituting burn bans, including the Brighton Area Fire Authority, which covers the City of Brighton and Genoa and Brighton townships; the Green Oak Township Fire Department; the Hartland/Deerfield Fire Authority; and the Putnam Township Fire Department, which includes the Village of Pinckney.

Officials say conditions over the next few days will actually be right for grass and field fires to spread more quickly and advise residents to check with their local departments if a burn ban is in effect. (JK)