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Weather and Climate

Eastern Washington Braces For Dust Storms, Wildfire Warnings

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WSDOT
File photo. A dust storm in 2015 near Ritzville, Washington, closed Highway 395 and Interstate 90.

Washington state officials say people in Eastern Washington need to hunker down for a likely dust storm and possible wildfire conditions Tuesday night.

Data from the National Weather Service indicates the region is experiencing all the conditions for a dust storm: low humidity, high temperatures and wind.  

“Cover your nose and mouth if possible,” said Camille St. Onge of Washington Ecology on Twitter. “If visibility is poor, try not to drive; just pull over if you’re already driving and you approach it. Stay indoors and avoid hard exercise.”

A dust storm in 2015 closed Highway 395 and Interstate 90 in Washington and caused a 50-car pileup on I-90.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources also said the dry weather could “challenge initial attack operations on new fires that occur across eastern Washington.”

DNR has increased the fire danger rating in Okanogan, Lincoln, Spokane and parts of Stevens counties. Those counties are also under burn restrictions.