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The original item was published from 9/30/2022 8:21:53 AM to 10/9/2022 12:00:04 AM.

News Flash

Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 30, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Friday, September 30, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

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!"


SR 542 (Mt Baker Highway):  There are several single lane closures over the next couple of weeks that will impact travel to some degree and  a full  closure in both directions

Description: Full closure on SR 542 both directions at milepost 47.0 near Department of Transportation Highway Maintenance Building beginning at 8:00 am on October 3, 2022 until about 4:00 pm on October 6, 2022 daily.
Last updated: 09/29/2022 05:31 PM. Check WSDOT website for exact location and times.

.- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway).  Several single lane closures are in effect.  Check the WSDOT website for updates on closure status - 

Inland Whatcom County Weather

While it's cloudy in Bellingham at the moment, the clouds will burn off and we should see some sun later today.  Other parts of the county will be mostly sunny.  High temperatures for today will be in the 70s with light winds.  Tonight, temperatures will drop to the low 50s. Tomorrow will see more sun and temperatures warming up a little more. Pt Roberts is likely to see some northwest wind tomorrow and tomorrow night with gusts to 20 mph or so. Over night lows will again be in the 50s under mostly clear skies. Skies will continue to be mostly clear from Sun-Tue with temperatures in the 70s along the coast and the low 80s in Sumas and Maple Falls.  Newhalem will continue to see low to mid-70s.  Looking out over the next week, there are still no storm systems poised to move through our area. So enjoy the sun.

Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams

The five and 10-day outlook for the Nooksack River do not show any change to the river level.  Keep in mind, the flow into the river is from snowmelt which is going to make the water very cold. I you are planning activities on or around the river, make sure you make water safety a key part of your plan.  Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website to check the river levels -

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A thermal trough will expand north along the coast  today and linger into the weekend for a period of northerly to  light offshore flow. The thermal trough will shift inland early  next week with onshore flow returning and northerly winds over the  Coastal Waters switching to southerly. Winds. TODAY NE wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. Patchy dense fog in the morning.  TONIGHT NW wind 5 to 15 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less.  SAT N wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less.  SAT NIGHT NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less.  SUN NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less.  SUN NIGHT NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less.  MON NW wind to 10 kt becoming light. Wind waves 1 ft or less. 
Tide Information (Cherry Point)

September 30, 20220243
September 30, 202210088.27
September 30, 20221503
September 30, 202219568.23
October 01, 20220331
October 01, 202211238.34
October 01, 20221604
October 01, 202220268.06
October 02, 20220426
October 02, 202212478.48
October 02, 20221728
October 02, 202221047.78

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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