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The original item was published from 8/4/2023 9:07:00 PM to 8/5/2023 7:27:17 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: August 4, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Friday, August 4, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

We will continue to be warm over the weekend with some possible clouds and a slight chance of rain Sunday and early next week. Be safe around water.

Active Incidents

8/4/23 @ 1819: The winds have shifted in the are of the Sourdough Fire and the fire has significantly increased in activity. Please do not call Dispatch about the smoke.                                                            @ 2000: Hwy 20 will be closing at Newhalem and mile post 156 at 2300 tonight due to fire along highway.

The Sourdough Fire north of Diablo Lake started on Saturday, July 29. It is currently burning in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area within the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, in very steep terrain. Air quality in the area is decreased. If you choose to travel in the area, please do not stop on the highway to take pictures or look at the fire. Do not fly drones in the area, as this will ground the helicopter and air tankers working on the fire. More information can be found here.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

July 24 a drought emergency was declared by WA State Dept of Ecology for 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

Dry weather will continue all routes through Friday, and probably Fri night into Saturday in the lowlands.  We will see mostly clear skies continue into Friday morning, then some high clouds increase PM and evening hours from the south and east. More clouds will arrive Saturday with a few thundershowers over the Cascades at this time and not in the lowlands. Generally light diurnal breezes will set up each afternoon before going light after sunset.  Temperatures will continue to remain above normal.

Still expecting us to mainly hold dry this weekend, but there will be the threat for a few isolated showers or some light rain moving in from the east Saturday night and Sunday.  Monday is looking mainly dry as well but some afternoon/early evening showers/thunderstorms are expected over the Cascades.  Temps will also cool off a few degrees for Sunday and Monday.  Tuesday is dry but we will have to watch for a potential storm system by Wednesday of next week.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the south at up to 10 knots becoming southwest in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Patchy fog in the morning. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the southwest at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Tomorrow winds come from the southwest at up to 10 knots becoming west in the afternoon. Wind waves will be 1 foot or less. Patchy fog in the morning. 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

CERT Activities

Come see and learn about the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and City of Bellingham Office of Emergency Management table at Civic Field during Kid's Fest Saturday, August 5, from 11 am-3 pm. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Summer Water Safety Tips

Washington waters are often cold enough to cause muscles to not work. Even when the outside temperatures are high, water temperatures can be cold enough to overwhelm even the strongest swimmer.

If you plan to be in or near water this summer, follow these recommendations:

Learn to swim, including water safety and survival skills — To enjoy the water safely, learn swim strokes, water safety, survival skills, and becoming comfortable in the water.

Wear a life jacket — Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket when boating, tubing, rafting, swimming or other activities in or on lakes, rivers, salt water, or pools without a lifeguard. Life jacket information for children and teens.

Swim where there is a lifeguard — Swim in areas with lifeguards when possible. Wear a life jacket while swimming in unguarded waters or until the guards start their service.

Supervise children in or near water — Always provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water. Stay within touching distance of young children at all times.

Do not use alcohol or drugs during water activities — Never use alcohol or other impairing drugs during water and boating activities or while supervising children around the water. Alcohol affects balance, coordination, and judgement. Exposure to sun and heat worsen these effects.

Know what to do in an emergency — Learn first aid and CPR. Seconds count—the more quickly lifesaving CPR is started, the better the chances of recovery. Bring a cell phone or know where to find the nearest phone. Dial 911 in an emergency. Learn safe ways to rescue others without putting yourself in danger (reach for them, throw something to them, don’t go into the water after them). If you are in trouble: flip, float, relax (like a starfish).

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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