Fire weather watch issued Monday for La Salle, DeKalb, Lee, Whiteside, Bureau, Putnam counties

High winds, low humidity, unseasonable warmth lead to conditions favorable for fires

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, to a brush fire in the 3800 block of West Buchanan Road.

A fire weather watch is in effect Monday for La Salle, DeKalb, Bureau, Putnam, Whiteside, Lee, Ogle, Livingston and Winnebago counties, among others in northwest Illinois

Winds from the south of 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph with a relative humidity as low as 25% create the potential for fires, according to the National Weather Service of Chicago.

Dry fuels, low relative humidity and strong winds will create conditions favorable for the rapid spread of wildfires, the weather service said.

Any grass or brush fires that ignite may have the potential to spread out of control. Use caution with the disposal for smoking materials.

The region could see record breaking warmth Monday with high temperatures in the mid 60s to lower 70s. The record temperature in Ottawa for Feb. 26 is 73 degrees set in 2000. Tuesday is expected to reach highs in the 70s with a potential for storms, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello is the news editor for The Times in Ottawa and NewsTribune in La Salle, part of Shaw Local News Network, covering La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties. He covers local and breaking news in the areas of government, education, business and crime and courts, among others.