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The original item was published from 9/7/2023 7:35:59 AM to 9/7/2023 9:13:11 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 7, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday, September 6, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

This week should have mile weather. September is National Emergency Preparedness month. Take a few minutes to get yourself prepared!

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. As of last week it was 6,234 acres and 25% contained. More information can be found here and here.

Hwy 20 is open. This remains an active fire area and the road is subject to closing again with little notice based on fire behavior, fire mitigation strategies or weather. Travelers along SR 20 are advised they may encounter firefighting personnel and apparatus along the highway and are discouraged from stopping along this stretch of highway. Traffic control is in place for the safety of the traveling public and should be observed.    

Road closure information is posted in the WSDOT real-time travel center and @wsdot_north and @wsdot_east on X/Twitter and updates will be provided as available. Details about recreation in this area including trail, area and camp closures are available on theNorth Cascades National Park Service complex website and the U.S. Forest Service alerts website

Lake Whatcom Fire -The evacuation notice has been removed for Blue Canyon Rd residents and Blue Canyon Rd remains closed to non-fire or non-resident traffic. The South Lake Whatcom boat launch and Lake Whatcom are open to boat traffic.

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

Mainly dry weather is expected to continue through the forecast period. However, with some low clouds developing later tonight into Thursday morning, some patchy mist/drizzle can't be entirely ruled out through the start of the morning. However, as we have seen this week, any precipitation will remain rather light.

 From there, we'll see clearing skies into the afternoon with temperatures rising back towards 70 degrees. Another round of low clouds and patchy fog will be possible Thursday night into Friday morning, but this low cloud cover doesn't look to be thick enough at this time to produce areas of drizzle. Any low clouds then clear Friday morning with mostly clear skies in the afternoon allowing for temperature to rise a few degrees higher than Thursday.

This stable pattern will remain locked in place through the weekend with temperatures starting to rise a few degrees above average. Our next system then arrives in the region Sunday afternoon, weakening as it pushes onshore. Still though, we'll start to see off and on showers arrive through the evening before decreasing to just a few lingering showers on Monday before tapering off to drier weather heading into Tuesday.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today light wind will become from the southwest to 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the south at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Tomorrow winds come from the southeast up to 10 knots, becoming southwest in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 foot or less. 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 planned activities for CERT at this time.

Emergency Preparedness

Visit our newly revamped website at

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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