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The original item was published from 9/13/2023 7:30:37 AM to 9/16/2023 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 12, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday, September 13, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

We will see mild temperatures and weather this 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

Some threat of patchy mist/drizzle through the start of Wednesday morning as some moisture gets squeezed out of the low cloud deck. However, any rainfall will be very light before tapering off by Wednesday afternoon. From there, we'll see conditions remaining dry through Thursday with no significant weather concerns and mostly clear skies. Although, some patchy fog/low clouds will develop again Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Dry and mild weather will continue through the start of the weekend with temperatures running 5-10 degrees above average. From there, temperatures will start to cool down on Sunday and Monday with our next disturbance looking to arrive Sunday evening bringing rain showers back into the area.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today light wind will come from the west to 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Areas of dense morning fog. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the west to 10 knots becoming north after midnight. Wind waves 1 foot or less. Tomorrow winds come from the north up to 10 knots becoming northwest in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 feet 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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