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The original item was published from 8/7/2023 7:32:04 AM to 8/7/2023 10:39:06 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: August 7, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Monday, August 7, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

This week's weather should be mild with possibly some rain showers. Warming and drying out later in the week. Be safe around water.

Active Incidents

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, see here for local info. 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.

Hwy 20 is closed from mile post 119-156 indefinitely. There may be large amounts of smoke from the fire, particularly in the afternoons as fire activity increases due to weather changes. Please do not call Dispatch to report it, fire crews are working on the fire. No flying of drones in the area due to aircraft working on the fire.

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

Occasional drizzle or a few light showers continue into Monday morning before tapering off from late morning to around midday across the area. Conditions then remain dry throughout the rest of the afternoon with cloud cover breaking up. Conditions remain dry through Monday night with cloud cover increasing ahead of a disturbance moving into the area. Conditions start off dry Tuesday morning, but a few light showers develop around midday and continue hit and miss into the afternoon.

Another disturbance looks to move through the area Tuesday evening as rain showers increase and continue off and on throughout the rest of the night. Showers then look to continue into Wednesday morning before decreasing in the afternoon with just a few stray showers left. Showers look to taper off into the evening hours Wednesday with dry conditions following. Most hours look dry into Thursday, but a stray light shower or two may develop throughout the day. Any showers taper off late day with conditions looking to remain dry through the end of the work week and into the weekend ahead with gradually warming temperatures.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the southwest at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the south at 10-20 knots. Wind waves 1-3 feet. Tomorrow winds come from the south at  5-15 knots, easing to 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 feet or less. a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. 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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