ST. LOUIS ( -- Weather conditions across the St. Louis area are ripe for serious fire problems, with the National Weather Service issuing a Red Flag Warning for the region. 

"One little mistake could result in big fire over next couple days," said Scott Barthelmass with the Eureka Fire Protection District. "It's dry, there's low humidity and high wind."

Already this week, fire crews have had to deal with brush fires in the area as St. Louis was under a Red Flag Warning on Wednesday as well.

Conditions are dry and dangerous, and Barthelmass said the whole region is like a tinderbox. 

Areas of tall grass tend to dry out more quickly as the blowing winds tend to dry out those grasses from the top down. It's also a time of year where recreational and farm fires are far more common, so the sources of potential problem fires increase. 

"We have people using bonfire pits, recreational burning, leaves, farmers harvesting, all those things are going on now," he said. 

If a fire does start it can spread quickly.

"It's the wind gusts that move these things along," said Thomas Wills with the Godfrey Fire Protection District. "A wind gust comes and doubles that miles per hour with dry material. It really takes off on you and can get away from you pretty quickly."

It's not just the rural areas that are at risk. Fires in urban areas can jump from one building to the next aided by the high wind gusts.

The St. Louis area has had below average rainfall since the beginning of September.

With conditions being what they are, fire officials are urging residents to hold of on burning anything, even if the law says they can.

"If you're in an area even if they allow you to burn it's not a good time to burn," said Barthelmass.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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