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The original item was published from 9/14/2023 8:09:52 AM to 9/17/2023 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 14, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Thursday, September 14, 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

A dry and stable pattern will remain in place over the next few days with no significant concerns as temperatures gradually rise above average. Other than some areas of fog/low clouds developing late tonight into Thursday morning, and again Thursday night into Friday morning, we'll see clear skies and light winds peaking during the afternoon hours. Temperature wise, we'll see highs running a few degrees above average on Thursday, then rising about 5-10 degrees above average by Friday afternoon.

Dry weather and slightly cooler temperatures will then persist through Saturday night. While most of Sunday looks to remain dry at this point, we'll see increasing cloud cover and cooler temperatures during the afternoon as our next storm system starts to push towards the area. By the evening, some light rain showers will begin spreading into the region with showery and cooler weather continuing into Monday.

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 becoming northwest in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Patchy fog in the morning. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the northwest at 5-15 knots becoming light after midnight. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Tomorrow light winds come from the south 5-15 knots  in the afternoon. Wind waves less than 1 foot becoming 2 feet or less in the afternoon. 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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