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The original item was published from 8/22/2023 7:40:05 AM to 8/22/2023 1:23:15 PM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: August 22, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, August 22, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

This week looks to have relatively mild weather, with a possibility of a few light showers. 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 very bad in places, 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 as of 1900 Thursday, August 10 indefinitely due to falling rocks and debris on the road. 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 2 Burn Ban effective 1600 Wednesday, August 16. 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

The cloud layer should lift by late Tuesday morning, allowing temperatures to climb into the 70s during the afternoon. A disturbance is expected to pass through the region on Tuesday night, allowing spotty showers to develop during the late evening and linger through most of the night. Occasional drizzle will remain possible on Wednesday morning, especially in eastern portions of the county. Any precipitation should end by early Wednesday afternoon. The afternoon should be dry and slightly cooler than the previous day.

While Thursday is looking dry, scattered showers appear possible on Friday as another disturbance passes through. Any showers should end by Friday evening, followed by dry weather over the weekend. The second half of the week will also be warmer as afternoon highs reach the 80s from Thursday onward.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the south at 5-15 knots becoming 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the southwest to 10 knots becoming south at 5-15 knots after midnight. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Tomorrow winds come from the south at 5-15 knots . Wind waves 2 feet or less. A chance of rain in the morning then 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

No activities currently scheduled for CERT.

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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