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The original item was published from 9/11/2023 7:34:38 AM to 9/14/2023 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 11, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Monday, September 11, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

We will see mild temperatures and weather this week with some showers with drying out later in the week. September is National Emergency Preparedness month. See below how to 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 the North 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

Light spotty rain showers after 3-4am across most of the service area. Scattered rain showers will be continuing into the morning hours on Monday before decreasing and tapering off by noon. Drier weather will then be seen throughout the rest of the afternoon with partly cloudy skies. Weather will likely continue to remain dry throughout the night on Monday and into the morning hours before another system arrives Tuesday morning. This will be bringing a bit heavier rain showers beginning after 10-11am and will be scattered throughout the rest of the afternoon before decreasing and tapering off. Temperatures expected to be much cooler through the day on Tuesday. Winds expected to remain fairly light throughout the period with no major wind concerns.

Low overcast skies will be expected Tuesday night into Wednesday morning and we may be seeing potential for light drizzle/mist going into the morning and possibly early afternoon hours but conditions may just remain dry. Dry weather will then be seen throughout the rest of the workweek with no significant weather concerns. We will be seeing temperatures rising back up into the weekend likely reaching a peak Saturday afternoon.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the south to 10 knots. Wind waves 1 foot or less. A chance of rain. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the south to 10 knots. Wind waves 1 foot or less. A slight chance of rain. Tomorrow winds come from the southeast up to 10 knots. Wind waves 1 foot or less. a chance of rain. 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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