Open burning is again shut down in Yellowstone County Tuesday, in anticipation of rising temperatures and gusts potentially topping 40 mph in Billings later in the day.
Weather throughout the region will be conducive to the spread of wildfires, particularly as winds begin to pick up this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
In a rangeland fire forecast issued Monday, NWS noted that "weather conditions will be favorable (to) rapid fire spread in wildland grasses." The forecast applies to Yellowstone, Musselshell, Treasure, Stillwater and Golden Valley counties.
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Gusty winds are likely to hit speeds of 70 mph or higher in the area around Livingston and Nye. Peak gusts of around 60 mph are expected from Big Timber north to Harlowton.
In Billings, temperatures are forecast to reach 56 degrees under sunny skies today, according to NWS. Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be slightly cooler with plenty of sun.
Friday night could finally bring some precipitation to the region after a dry start to December. Temperatures in the low- to mid-40s are expected this weekend in Billings, but are forecast to hover around the freezing mark in Red Lodge.