Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

Also, a Fire Weather Watch will be in effect Thursday for a portion of south central Minnesota due to arrival of very warm, dry and windy weather.

The Red Flag Warning includes the cities of Marshall, Windom and Worthington.

The Weather Service says conditions will be ideal for the rapid spread of any wildfires that may break out

. Warm weather is being experienced across much of Minnesota this week and that has led the DNR to issue a warning about the sudden deterioration of lake and river ice.

The warmer weather is also helping thin the ice covering Lake Pepin.Measurements taken last week found the ice was as deep as 27 inches in some spots. A check yesterday found the thickest ice was 24 inches.

The measurements are taken to help determine when the shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River can re-open.