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The original item was published from 8/25/2023 7:30:53 AM to 8/25/2023 2:13:44 PM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: August 25, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Friday, August 25, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

This week looks to have relatively mild weather, with some warming up over the weekend. 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 open. The road will be open for through-travel only – no stopping along the highway - as crews remain actively fighting the Sourdough and Blue Lake fires. A pilot car will direct traffic between mileposts Rainy Pass (MP 158) and Blue Lake Trailhead parking lot (MP 162) from 9:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. for a few days once the road is open. All recreation remains CLOSED in this area. 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

Dry weather will remain in place through the forecast period with no significant concerns. Temperatures will rise above average with temperatures reaching well into the 80s inland by Saturday with cooler temperatures right along the water.

Dry weather will continue through the weekend along with well above average temperatures. From there, we'll see our next storm system arrive on Monday bringing rain showers and another potential for thunderstorms into the area before tapering off later in the day. Another system will then push into the region on Tuesday bringing more rain back into the area through the day, with some showers then lingering in the area on Wednesday.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the north to 10 knots becoming northwest in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Haze. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the northwest to 10 knots, in the evening becoming light. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Haze. Tomorrow winds come from the northwest to 10 knots, rising to 5-15 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Haze. 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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