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The original item was published from 9/12/2023 7:28:05 AM to 9/15/2023 12:00:01 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 12, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, September 12, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

We will see mild temperatures and weather this week with some showers and then 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 this week it was 6,280 acres and 25% contained. More information on what trails and campgrounds are open 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

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 continue through the start of Tuesday morning until our next storm system arrives late Tuesday morning bringing rain back into the region. With that, we'll see off and on rain showers continuing through most of the afternoon with some dry time mixing in until showers move off to the east early Tuesday evening. From there, we'll see conditions remain mainly dry, but some areas of drizzle will be possible later in the night through the start of Wednesday morning as some areas of low clouds and fog develop. These low clouds will then gradually lift and clear out into Wednesday afternoon with dry and milder weather then continuing.

Dry weather looks to remain in place through the remainder of the work week with temperatures rising a bit above average by Friday and Saturday. Conditions then remain mainly dry on Sunday as well, but there is the potential for a few light rain showers Sunday night and into Monday as a system brushes past the region.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the southeast to 10 knots. Wind waves 1 foot or less. A slight chance of rain in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the southeast to 10 knots into the evening becoming light. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Rain likely in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight. Patchy fog after midnight. Tomorrow light winds come from the west up to 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 foot or less. A slight 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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