COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect.
The U.S. has extended an order closing the shared border to nonessential traffic until at least August 21, 2021. Canada will allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada beginning August 9th. However, there are several additional requirements you need to be aware of. See Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for additional requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
An "Excessive Heat Watch" is in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Saturday evening or portions of northwest and west central Washington including Whatcom County. Hot conditions with heat index values up to 98-100 possible. Western slopes of the Cascades: 92-98 degrees.
Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.
SR 20 North Cascades Highway is closed approximately 9 miles west of Winthrop due to firefighting activities. **AS OF MONDAY, JULY 12 AT 10AM: ROAD CLOSED to all traffic due to fire activity.** There is no estimated time for reopening of the road and this closure is expected to remain in place through the weekend. See WSDOT for updates. The Cedar Creek Fire situation report can be found on the WA DNR website under wildfires.
The Whatcom County Fire Marshal has issued a Stage 2 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County; it will remain in effect until further notice . For more information, see the following site for more information about this announcement: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/381/Fire-Marshal
Governor Inslee has issued an Emergency Proclamation titled "Wildfires-Burn Ban". This burn ban "imposes a temporary outdoor burn ban by prohibiting all outdoor and agricultural burning in all 39 Washington Counties until noon on Thursday September 30, 2021." Of equal importance is another phrase in the proclamation: "Nothing in this order supersedes more restrictive provision of the counties, municipalities, fire districts, other political subdivision, or public or private landowners." If you review Whatcom County's Stage 2 Burn Ban you will see it IS more restrictive. Additionally, national park service, US Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources, individual fire districts, etc. have their own set of rules which you must review and comply with.
American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, who currently reside in the U.S. and who qualify as fully vaccinated travelers, will be able to enter Canada for discretionary travel starting August 9. Details can be obtained by visiting https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/covid/menu-eng.html . There are additional requirements for travel so see the CBSA website.
State Route 9: The full closure of SR-9 is complete; however, there will be intermittent single lane closures continuing through the month of August and possible into September. More information will forthcoming. Expect some delays during this time. as crews continue to complete the project. WSDOT has been committed to fish barrier correction for more than three decades. A single removed barrier can deliver impressive benefits improving fish habitat both upstream and downstream. Interested in learning more about fish passages, check out our latest fish passage annual report.
Nice to have a few days of lower than average temperatures and a few stray showers over the weekend, but that is over and things are going to be around average for the next couple of days before starting to warm up again on Wednesday. Today's temperatures will range in the 70s with Point Roberts being in the low to mid-70s and Sumas and Newalem in the mid to upper 70s. Low temperatures will drop close to 60 or a little cooler. Tomorrow will be very close to the same. West to southwest winds in the 5-10 mph range will also be around. Then on Wednesday we'll see a "Excessive Heat Watch" kick in lasting into Saturday. Thursday appears to be the warmest/hottest day with Sumas coming close to the 100 degree mark while the rest of the county will be somewhere between 90 and 100. Evening temperatures are forecast to drop into the low to mid 60s so there will be some relief in the evenings.
The fire danger remains high. Before engaging in any outdoor work (e.g. cutting wood, using a weed eater, welding, etc.) or outdoor activities, think through what might create sparks or enough heat to ignite dry fuels. Where you park and the surface you park your vehicle (e.g. concrete, asphalt or grass) plays a huge role in possible ignition. You make the difference. Thank you.
**As we enter these warm to hot summer days, it is absolutely crucial you keep the following in mind if you have small children or pets in your vehicle. It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature to reach 104 degrees if the outside temperature is 85 degrees. In 20 minutes, the temperature will reach 114 degrees. And in 30 minutes, it will be 119 degrees.**
Flows within the rivers and streams of Whatcom County are normal; expect them to continue to flow steady at current levels.
Onshore flow will persist across the region trough early this week. Flow will then transition to offshore near midweek as a thermal trough forms along the coast. Stronger onshore flow will resume again Friday night and over the weekend. Winds. Today: S wind to 10 knots becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves 1' or less. Tonight: SW wind 5-15 knots becoming 10-20 knots after midnight. Wind waves 1-3'. Tomorrow: SW wind 10-20 knots becoming NW to 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1-3'. Tomorrow Night. SW wind to 10 knots. Wind waves 1' or less.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Fuels are dry with lower humidity and temperatures that can be expected to reach into the 80s. Know what your local jurisdictions restrictions are concerning recreational fires, barbeques, etc. by checking your local jurisdictions website or contacting your local fire district. For unincorporated Whatcom County residents visit the Whatcom County Fire Marshal's website at https://www.whatcomcounty.us/381/Fire-Marshal.
See Advisories, Watches, and Warnings above for new or updated fire hazard restrictions (e.g. Stage 2 Burn Ban; Governor Inslee Wildfire Emergency Proclamation).
Information concerning face coverings and other protective actions can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department Website.
These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.