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The original item was published from 6/22/2023 7:41:30 AM to 6/25/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: June 22, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Thursday, June 22, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

It is looking like our weather will be fairly mild for the next week. Remember as trails are starting to open up to be prepared when out hiking or exploring.

Active Incidents

Currently there are no ongoing or active incidents in Whatcom County.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

Currently there are no ongoing advisories, watches or warnings in Whatcom County. Whatcom County Fire Marshal has initiated a Stage 1 Burn Ban effective 0800 Friday, June 9. See here for more information.

A subject of note here is the Mt Baker Hwy closure which is affecting a large area of the county. Please visit the Whatcom County Public Works Road Closures and Restrictions page for more information.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

Conditions remain dry through the end of the week as any showers that develop remain in the mountains. Fog lingers into Thursday morning before burning off with temperatures warming a degree or two compared to previous days. Skies then remain mostly clear Thursday night into Friday with patchy fog again developing and temperatures warming again Friday afternoon.

Most hours look to remain dry into Friday night and Saturday, but as low clouds develop throughout the night, patchy mist or drizzle may be squeezed out at times. Temperatures look to cool into Saturday as well with more cloud cover in place. Conditions then look to remain dry throughout the rest of the weekend and into the first half of next week with temperatures gradually warming as showers remain in the mountains.

Rivers and Streams

The Nooksack River and stream levels in Whatcom County are normal for this time of year.  

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the north at 10 knots, becoming northwest at 5-15 knots in the afternoon, wind waves 2 feet or less. Moving into the evening, winds will continue from the west at 10 knots becoming northwest  after midnight. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Tomorrow winds come from the northwest at 5-15 knots. Wind waves will be 2 feet or less. For a look at real-time coastal weather and tides you can link here to the Cherry Point NOAA Tide Station.

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Search and Rescue Tips

As we have our trails opening up, and while no one ever plans to get lost or injured in the forest, you are in the best position to help yourself and Search and Rescue personnel:

The best tool needed for survival in the event you get lost outdoors is your skill of advanced planning. You must expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Even if you are going out for just a few hours, pack enough essentials that you can stay hydrated, fueled and prepared for any type of weather. Your essentials should include at least:

  • More than enough food and water for the activity you plan.
  • A compass that you know how to use. You may want a GPS device, but those sometimes do not receive a signal or the battery fails. Cell phones also likely will not work because of a lack of signal.
  • Appropriate maps. Study the terrain and your planned route. Know where you are going and how you will return.
  • Sturdy hiking boots, clothes that you can layer depending on the weather conditions and additional socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet.
  • A blanket, flashlight, matches kept in a water-resistant container, and other items that will help you survive overnight if necessary.
  • Check with the local ranger district or forest office for special warnings, such as fires in the area, bear sightings, flooding, trail or road closures, etc.

It’s also important that once you have planned your outing, tell someone. Give them exact details of where you are going, the trail you plan to follow, when you will return, the vehicle you are driving (and where you plan to park) and how many people will go with you – do not go alone. BUT – if you do become lost your most important tool is keeping a positive mental attitude and:

Stop: As soon as you realize you may be lost: stop, stay calm, stay put. Panic is your greatest enemy.

Think: Go over in your mind how you got to where you are. What landmarks should you be able to see? Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step.

Observe: 

  • Get our your compass and determine the directions based on where you are standing. Do not walk aimlessly.
  • If you are on a trail, stay on it. All trails are marked with signs (where intersections meet) and diamond blazers or maker. However, signs are sometimes vandalized or stolen.
  • As a very last resort, follow a drainage or stream downhill. This is often difficult path but could lead to a trail or road. Again, this could be very dangerous.

Plan:

  • Based on your thinking and observations, come up with some possible plans, think them through then act on one of them.
  • If you are not very, very confident in the route, then it’s always better to stay put.
  • If it’s nightfall, you are injured or you are near exhaustion, stay in place.

The Emergency Management Daily Briefing is produced Monday - Friday unless an update is required for an incident or event over a weekend or during holidays.

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