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The original item was published from 10/25/2022 9:00:28 AM to 10/31/2022 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 25, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, October 25, 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; this burn ban remains in effect today.  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.


.- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway).  Several single lane closures are in effect for this week.  Flaggers or temporary signals will be used to control traffic.  Check the WSDOT website for updates on closure status - 

- SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING for west wind 15 to 25 knots this morning and south winds 20 to 30   knots this afternoon and evening. * WHERE...Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands.
-Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Wind light increasing to southeast 10-15 knots early this morning and to southeast 20-30 knots late this mornging.  Wind becoming westerly 15-25 knots early this evening then diminishing to westerly 10-15 knots Wednesday morning.  Wind diminishing to light near noon Wednesday then increasing to southeast 5-15 knots Wednesday afternoon.  Wind increasing to southeast 15-25 knots Wednesday evening.

Inland Whatcom County Weather

The chance for rain continues today as well as some wind entering the picture now as well. High temperatures will remain around the 50 degree mark with some places slightly above and others slightly below. Rain amounts are not expected to be excessive but higher elevations are likely to see amounts near one-half inch.  Elevations above 3500' are going to see periods of rain/snow with all snow at higher elevations.  Accumulations generally will  be two to four inches.  The ski resort is expecting around seventeen inches over the next several days. Low temperatures this evening will be in the upper 30s to low 40s. With regards to the wind, Bellingham is likely to see gusts from the southeast up to 24 mph today and tonight and Pt Roberts will see gusts into the 30s. Winds will die down after tonight for Bellingham but continue to be gusty in Pt Roberts through tomorrow with winds shifting to the northwest tomorrow. Newhalem will see temperatures around the 40 degree mark for highs but lows shouldn't drop too much because of the cloud cover. Wet conditions will remain with us for the remainder of the week with several systems moving through the area. According to the NWS, the weekend system is likely to be the stronger of the three.

Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams

In terms of precipitation runoff into the river drainage systems, we are early in the rainy season so the amounts are minimal;  however, keep in mind as we get deeper into the season, ground will become more saturated which will enable more runoff.  The river levels remain well below any concern at this time.  In addition to river levels though, if you are planning any activities on or near the river hypothermia is a real threat.  Don't forget, you can always go to the Public Works website to check the river levels - There is a possibility some drains are clogged with leaves. This can cause local urban flooding, especially in low areas when the water cannot enter the drains.  Clean leaves away from grates so water can flow freely. This will help prevent such localized water backups. Also, in rural areas, if you have a culvert that is plugged on your property, take the time to remove branches or other debris so water can flow freely. All of this helps in moving the water out of the areas as quickly as possible which in turn, helps avoid or reduce flooding.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

Small craft advisory remains in effect.  WINDS: TODAY SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft building to 3 to 5 ft in the afternoon. Rain likely in the morning then rain in the afternoon.  TUE NIGHT SW wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft.  WED W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft.  Continue to monitor marine weather for the most current updates which can changes without notice.

Tide Information (Cherry Point)

October 25, 202206288.24
October 25, 20221147
October 25, 202217208.56
October 26, 20220014
October 26, 202207218.79
October 26, 20221231
October 26, 202217408.56
October 27, 20220049
October 27, 202208159.21
October 27, 20221319
October 27, 202218048.54
October 28, 20220129

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Fall Cleanup and Maintenance for Your Car

Fall weather is here along with the changes that come with it.  Here are a few things to accomplish as we transition to the unsettled weather:

-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.

Flood Preparedness.  

Several inquiries have been made to this office regarding sand and sandbags.   Whatcom County does not provide either prior to a proclamation of emergency which is issued when flood conditions are clearly defined.  In addition, the number of bags the county has is limited and obtaining sand or additional sandbags in the midst of a flood fight may be impossible or delayed, at the very least. The number of locations where these items are placed is also limited.  If you are concerned about the need for sand or sandbags, now is the time for you to purchase these items through local vendors or order the sandbags online.  Sand can be obtained through local landscaping or sand and gravel companies.   In addition to sand and sandbags, some responders use plastic layered with sandbags to provide a protective barrier.   There are a number of short you tube videos explaining a variety of sandbag protective methods.  Whattcom County Public Works also has developed a list of vendors who have sand and sandbags for sale.  See:

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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