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The original item was published from 7/18/2023 7:22:20 AM to 7/18/2023 8:59:21 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: July 18, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, July 18, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

It is looking like our weather this week will be warm. As it warms up and dries out, think about fire safety.

It is looking like our weather this week will be warm. As it warms up and dries out, think about fire safety.

Active Incidents

There are no active incidents in Whatcom County at this time.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

There are no current 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

Looks dry through Wednesday with no concerns expected.  Skies will generally be mostly clear, but there could be some fog in spots early Tuesday morning.  Winds will be a bit breezy at times, but winds should remain under 20 mph.  Temperatures will be trending warmer each day Tuesday and Wednesday.

Looks dry through Saturday although a few rain showers are possible on Sunday.  Showers may remain off to the N and W of the area, though.  Temperatures cool off a bit on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures trend warmer again on Saturday before cooling off quite a bit on Sunday.  Dry conditions return Monday, but a drizzle will be possible late Monday night into Tuesday.  

 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 south at 10 knots becoming westerly in the afternoon. Wind waves 1-2 feet. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the southwest at 10-20 knots becoming 5-15 knots after midnight. Wind waves 1-3 feet. Tomorrow winds come from the northwest at up to 10 knots. Wind waves will be 1 foot. For a look at real-time coastal weather and tides you can link here to the Cherry Point NOAA Tide Station.

Air Quality

Visit the Whatcom County Health Department's Wildfire Smoke for up-to-date information and air quality.

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Wildland Fire Tips 

Learn the Fire Evacuation Levels

Level 1: Ready

 A level one threat means it is time to prepare to evacuate. Review your emergency plan and evacuation routes, including plans for pets or livestock. Ensure your Go-Kit is packed and ready. Follow local news on TV, radio or social media. 

Level 2: Get Set

A level two threat means the emergency is less predicable and you need to be ready to leave at any moment. If you have young children or vulnerable dependents you should leave now so you have time to evacuate safely. Keep monitoring the news for updates. 

Level 3: Go

A level 3 alert means there is immediate, extreme danger in your area. Evacuate immediately.

Wildfire is a cause of concern for us all in the Evergreen State. While wildfire has historically played a crucial role in Washington's forest ecology, climate change and other factors have led to longer, more destructive fire seasons, which threaten communities throughout the state's diverse landscape. But there are a number of steps landowners can take to protect their property -- and their neighbors'.

Every year across our nation, some homes survive - while many others do not - after a major wildfire. Those that survive almost always do so because their owners had prepared for the eventuality of fire, which is an inescapable force of nature in fire-prone wildland areas. 

DNR's Wildfire Ready Neighbors program and Community Resilience team are here to help you make your property more resistant to the growing danger of wildfire statewide. Go to WildfireReady.com to sign up for a free action plan and home wildfire assessment.

 

You may also visit the National Fire Protection Association’s Preparing Homes for Wildfire website for additional information.

Tips For Home Landscaping In Dry Conditions

  • Work in the mornings or late evenings to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and postpone your work when the weather calls for low humidity or high wind
  • Keep a water hose or bucket or fire extinguisher on hand
  • Use a nylon or plastic weed whacker line instead of metal
  • Be careful not to set a hot tool down on dry grass or leaves
  • Allow power engines to cool before refueling, and make sure the hot exhaust is kept away from dry grasses, weeds, and shrubs - only use such equipment that’s in good repair and has spark arresters installed. when applicable
  • Stay home for an hour after finishing your work - this way you’ll be around to notice if anything begins to smolder and smoke
  • If conditions are right for outdoor burning, keep your debris piles small and have a hose ready should your fire escape

 Campfire Safety

If your fire escapes, you will be responsible for paying for fire suppression personnel and equipment, as required by state law. 

  • Campfires are allowed only when a campfire burn restriction is not in place 
  • Ensure there is a shovel and buckets of water close by
  • Never walk away from a smoldering campfire.
  • Put the fire out cold before leaving - if it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave

 Additional Prevention Tips

  • Be sure recreation vehicles have operating spark arrestors
  • Do not park vehicles in dry, grassy areas as residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass
  • Know the current wildfire risk in your county, destination, or area you may be working in 
  • Learn more from our friend Smokey Bear

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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