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The original item was published from 9/25/2023 7:46:06 AM to 9/28/2023 12:00:01 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 25, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Monday, September 25, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

This looks to be a cool, rainy and sometime blustery 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.  As of this week it was 7,377 acres and 25% contained. Fire behavior increased last weekend with the unseasonably hot, dry, and unstable conditions. The fire grew approximately 1,000 acres, mostly in the Stetattle Creek drainage. Firefighters utilized aerial delivered water resources extensively for suppression efforts in the Sourdough Creek area which successfully kept fire west of the drainage. 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

A small craft advisory is in effect for the norther inland waters until 1800 Tuesday. See here for more information.

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 main concern through Tuesday will be for gusty winds with strongest winds coming on Monday afternoon/evening.  Off and on light rain continues through Monday morning before rain breaks up into a few rain showers midday.  A few rain showers linger Monday night and Tuesday morning before shower activity increases a bit on Tuesday afternoon.  Gusty south southeast winds are expected Monday afternoon/evening.  Winds up to 40 mph are expected with the strongest winds coming for areas around Bellingham Bay.  Winds will continue to be pretty gusty at times overnight Monday night and Tuesday, but winds should only be getting up to around 25-35 mph.

Winds continue to be breezy Tuesday night and Wednesday before winds become calmer on Wednesday night.  Rain showers continue Tuesday evening before steady rain moves through overnight Tuesday night.  Rain breaks up into showers late Tuesday night/early Wednesday.  Occasional rain showers linger through Wednesday, Wednesday night, and Thursday, but it looks like conditions dry out on Thursday night.  At this time, conditions look dry on Friday and during the weekend.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the light wind will come from the southeast at 20-30 knots. Wind waves 3-5 feet. Rain. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the southeast at 20-30 knots. Wind waves 3-5 feet. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening, then a slight chance of showers after midnight. Tomorrow winds come from the southeast at 20-30 knots easing to 15-25 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 3-5 feet. Showers in the morning, then a chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms 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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