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The original item was published from 9/16/2022 9:05:32 AM to 9/23/2022 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 16, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Friday, September 16, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Cooler today with some showers around the area. Highs: mid-60s most locations; Newhalemj will top out at 53. Mostly cloudy tonight with a few showers still possible in the foothills. Low temps 44-50. Tomorrow-partly sunny with same temps. Warmer Sun-Tue.

Active Incidents

Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor:  Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021.


The Whatcom County Fire Marshall issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County effective Saturday, July 16, 2022.  As of that time, all land clearing and yard debris burning was to be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended.  Recreational fires will still be allowed with the landowner’s permission but must meet specific requirements (see URL:; or contact the fire marshal's office).   Addiotionally,

- If your property lies within Whatcom County Fire Districts (WCFD) 5- Pt. Roberts, 11- Lummi Island, or 17- Sandy Point, you must check with those fire districts for outdoor burning restrictions and to obtain outdoor burning permits (when available).


- If your property lies within, or you are visiting property that is fire protected by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or a federal parks or forest agency, you must contact those organizations about outdoor burning restrictions.

"Dear Whatcom County Businesses and Households,

As flood season 2022 approaches, we are focused on what we can do to be prepared. The Port of Bellingham has scheduled two courses with the National Center for Disaster Preparedness / FEMA for Whatcom County businesses and households that are designed to provide learners with information on individual, household, and business financial literacy in post-disaster recovery. Some of the areas covered in the course include developing pre-disaster plans for financial literacy, understanding disaster assistance programs that are available to businesses and households, the importance of business continuity planning, and understanding your vulnerability to disasters.

The trainings are scheduled for business on October 4 and households on October 12, 2022, 9am-230pm PST. Both courses are free and will be held virtually. You must register for a FEMA SID to attend and take a short pre-test to assess existing knowledge. Do not worry: your pre-test results will not exclude you from participation.

For more information about this great opportunity, including links to register, check out the course fliers.

Finally, if you or someone you know would like to attend the training but would require materials or training to be in a language other than English, please let us know as soon as possible and we will work with FEMA and the NCDP to see how we can make the course accessible

We hope to see many of you there!

Thank you!"


-  US 2 Both Directions. On US 2 eastbound & westbound from Index-Galena Rd (MP 36) to Beckler Rd (MP 49) all lanes are closed; this is due to wildfire activity.  Last updated: 09/14/2022 11:23 AM.  Check with WSDOT for the most current information.

.- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) On SR 20 westbound from Rocky Creek Lane (MP 102) to Clark Cabin Rd (MP 103) the right lane is closed due to roadwork. Check WSDOT website for current conditions before traveling.

Inland Whatcom County Weather

Today's weather will consist of the chance for showers which will gradually dwindle toward the end of the day, highs that will  top out in the mid 60s for most places although Newhalem may only get to 53 or so, and light and variable winds around 10mph or less form the south/southwest.  Tonight will be mostly cloudy across the county but the foothills will still have the slightest of chances for a shower.  Lows will crop to the mid 40s in Newhalem and around 50 for other places in the county.  Tomorrow's temperatures will be about like today but skies will be partly cloudy.  Winds will shigt a little to the west and Pt Roberts could see some 13-15mph winds from the northwest. Tomorrow night will be close to the same lows under partly cloudy skies.  Beginning Sunday we'll have mostly sunny skies during the day and night with temperatures rebounding a little to the low 70s and then mid 70s on Tuesday.  All-in-all, a pretty nice forecast. If you are headed to higher elevations, it's time to start packing some colder weather safety items; changes can be dramatic and with little forewarning.

Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams

Things continue to remain fairly static as far as the Nooksack River is concerned; this is normal for this time of year.  Almost all of the water in the river is snowmelt and it is a slow, steady melt keeping the river level right about where it is now.  Be very careful if planning any activity in the water as cold water shock or hypothermia can occur quickly.  Wear a life jacket.  Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website to check the river levels -

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A weak front will move through the waters today. A low pressure  system will move by well west of the area tonight and Saturday.  Light flow in the lower levels Sunday through Tuesday. Winds.  TODAY W wind to 10 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. A chance of showers in the morning then  a slight chance of showers in the afternoon.  TONIGHT S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft.  SAT NE wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon.  SAT NIGHT NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft.  SUN NW wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less in the afternoon. 
Tide Information (Cherry Point)

September 16, 20220406
September 16, 202211487.70
September 16, 20221631
September 16, 202221027.51
September 17, 20220454
September 17, 202213167.87
September 17, 20221801
September 17, 202221197.13
September 18, 20220550
September 18, 202214378.13
September 19, 20220654
September 19 , 202215368.36

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Fall Cleanup and Maintenance for Your Car

With summer's end on the horizon, now is the time to start preparing your vehicle for fall weather and the changes that come with it.  Here are a few things to accomplish:

-Inspect your car battery.  Check the connections to make sure they are snug and tight.  If there is a lot of corrosion around the post, have them cleaned so connections remain solid. Cold cranking amps are important as the days get colder.  Check with your service provider to make sure your battery is up to the task; there's nothing worse than the fading cranking power of our battery on a cold day.

-Check your headlights to make sure they are not glazed or clouded over.  With time, oxidation creates a film that results in a dimmer and more restricted illumination field.  Having someone clean them or cleaning them yourself will make a dramatic improvement.

-Tires are extremely important for several reasons. Remaining tread provides traction as well as channeling water away from the place where the tire contacts the road.  Reduction in tread enables water to build under the tire leading to hydroplaning and loss of control.  Tread helps ensure better traction in snow.

-Streaks on your windshield or the inability of the wipers to make solid contact with the windshield is a sure indicator your visibility is probably being limited as well.  If you're experiencing this, it's time to get new wipers.  You can install them yourself, or in some cases depending on where you purchase them, attendants will install them for you.

-Car repair in general.  if your vehicle is demonstrating abnormal issues (e.g. difficult starting, unknown noises, blower fans not working or squeaking/rattling, etc.), have them looked at as soon as you can as you will soon need the defrost function in your car and other issues are unlikely to get better on their own.

Wildfire Preparedness

While we have been extremely fortunate concerning the risk for wildfire to date, things could change rapidly with dry, hot weather. Now is the time to inventory your home environment to see what wildfire risks you can mitigate against.  To that extent, the following information was taken from the National Fire Protection Agency on wildfire preparedness. Additional information about the wildfires and the Firewise program can be found at the NFPA website:

1. HOME IGNITION ZONES:  To increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire, choose fire-resistant building materials and limit the amount of flammable vegetation in the three home ignition zones. The zones include the Immediate Zone: (0 to 5 feet around the house), the Intermediate Zone (5 to 30 feet), and the Extended Zone (30 to 100 feet).

2. LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE:  To reduce ember ignitions and fire spread, trim branches that overhang the home, porch, and deck and prune branches of large trees up to 6 to 10 feet (depending on their height) from the ground. Remove plants containing resins, oils, and waxes. Use crushed stone or gravel instead of flammable mulches in the Immediate Zone (0 to 5 feet around the house). Keep your landscape in good condition.

3. ROOFING AND VENTS:  Class A fire-rated roofing products, such as composite shingles, metal, concrete, and clay tiles, offer the best protection. Inspect shingles or roof tiles and replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. Box in eaves, but provide ventilation to prevent condensation and mildew. Roof and attic vents should be screened to prevent ember entry.

4. DECKS AND PORCHES:  Never store flammable materials underneath decks or porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks and porches and between deck board joints.

5. SIDING AND WINDOWS:  Embers can collect in small nooks and crannies and ignite combustible materials; radiant heat from flames can crack windows. Use fire-resistant siding such as brick, fibercement, plaster, or stucco, and use dual-pane tempered glass windows.

6. EMERGENCY RESPONDER ACCESS:  Ensure your home and neighborhood have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 15 feet for emergency vehicle access.


  • Develop, discuss, and practice an emergency action plan with everyone in your home. Include details for handling pets, large animals, and livestock.
  • Know two ways out of your neighborhood and have a predesignated meeting place.
  • Always evacuate if you feel it’s unsafe to stay—don’t wait to receive an emergency notification if you feel threatened from the fire.
  • Conduct an annual insurance policy checkup to adjust for local building costs, codes, and new renovations. n Create or update a home inventory to help settle claims faster.



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.

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