Gusting winds are causing havoc around the region, knocking down power lines and whipping up dust, leading to multiple car accidents.
The National Weather Service issued a Blowing Dust Advisory Tuesday afternoon for the Moses Lake area, Upper Columbia Basin, Spokane area and Washington Palouse. The advisory will remain in effect until Tuesday evening.
In the Deer Lake area, fire crews are mopping up a brush fire that could have been much worse.
Crews were able to get a handle on the fire and prevented it from getting into heavy timber. If they hadn't been able to make a stand and stop the fire, which was being fanned by gusting winds at the time, it would have taken out three campgrounds and possibly a number of homes as well.
Just after 4 p.m. the Washington State Patrol confirmed troopers were en-route to two crashes on Highway 2 near the Lincoln County line. Preliminary reports indicate low visibility due to blowing dust may have been a factor in those crashes.
Previously, around 3:30 p.m. a power line was knocked down across SR 395 approximately a mile south of Colville. The roadway was closed briefly -- about half an hour -- while the power line was removed from the highway.
In addition to the Blowing Dust Advisory, a Red Flag Warning is in effect until 11 p.m.