Newsflash Home
The original item was published from 9/19/2023 7:32:28 AM to 9/22/2023 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 19, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, September 19, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

We will have a cooler week with possible showers today and tonight. 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 6,369 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 reduced the burn ban allowing for recreational fires again, effective Friday, September 15 at 4 pm. 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

The potential for mist/drizzle extends through 8-10am Tuesday as any precipitation tapers off from west to east. Following this, conditions remain dry for several hours until rain showers arrive during the second half of the afternoon. These showers will provide frequent rain and continue through the evening hours. Shower activity should begin to wane around midnight and come to an end by 2-4am. Conditions then stay dry on Wednesday. This stretch of active weather will be accompanied by afternoon highs in the 60s and overnight lows in the 40s/50s. Wind gusts should top out near 15-20 mph each afternoon.

The second half of the work week is shaping up to be dry with afternoon highs in the 70s. However, active weather is expected to return by the weekend with rain showers beginning as early as Friday night. Showers look to continue through Saturday, followed by a brief lull overnight before another push of moisture arrives on Sunday morning. Showery weather likely continues through Sunday as well. This active weather will push highs back into the 60s.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the south at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 1-2 feet. A chance of rain in the afternoon. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the south at 5-15 knots becoming west after midnight . Wind waves 1-2 feet. Rain in the evening, then a chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow winds come from the northwest at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 1-3 feet. A chance of rain in the morning then a slight chance of rain 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.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing