Adverse weather conditions in the Phoenix area may have played a role in a multi-vehicle accident on a major highway earlier this week.
Thirteen people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash that happened in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 near Eloy – a city around 65 miles southeast of Phoenix – on Wednesday. Five were transported to a local hospital.
At the time of the wreck, there were dusty conditions, gusting winds and brush fires burning through parts of the area.
The lanes, which were closed due to the crash, have since been reopened, Arizona's Department of Transportation said.
The National Weather Service issued dust and wind advisories in multiple counties through the evening.
"Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. In addition, strong winds over desert areas could result in briefly lowered visibilities to well under a mile at times in blowing dust or blowing sand. Use extra caution," a National Weather Service advisory said.
A wind advisory means sustained wind speeds between 30 and 40 miles per hour or wind gusts between 40 and 58 miles per hour; parts of Arizona observed wind speeds of 40 miles per hour or more than 50 miles per hour.
Pinal County was also under an air quality warning, according to Fox 10 Phoneix.
Much of the state was under a red flag warning amid possible fire conditions and low humidity, and The Republic noted that the high temperature in Phoenix registered over 85 degrees for the first time in 2021.
As a low-pressure system moves southeastward this week, fire danger will continue to be a threat over the Southern High Plains and wind advisories and high wind warnings are in place across the West Coast.