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The original item was published from 9/26/2023 7:45:00 AM to 9/29/2023 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 26, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, September 26, 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 0600 Wednesday. 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

Gusty winds Tuesday morning in W areas as gusts reach 30-40 mph for most.

Localized flooding or ponding water on roads possible Tuesday night-Wednesday morning.

Stray showers continue into Tuesday morning, but showers increase around mid afternoon throughout the area. Spotty showers can then be expected off and on throughout the rest of the day with some dry time mixing in. A few weak thunderstorms are also possible throughout the day, but mainly in the afternoon, so brief heavy rain and lightning are the main concerns. Breezy winds continue into the morning and peak with gusts reaching 30-40 mph for most, but decrease into the afternoon.

Spotty showers continue into the evening hours, but increase to periods of rain after midnight area wide. Periods of rain then continue throughout the rest of the night. Localized flooding or ponding water on roads are possible with rain throughout the night. Breezy winds also pick up as rain moves in with gusts reaching 20-25 mph in most areas. Rain continues into Wednesday morning, but breaks into showers from midday in W areas and into the afternoon for E areas. Showers then continue off and on through the rest of the day with dry time mixing in. Breezy winds continue in the morning, but decrease in the afternoon.

Showers look to continue off and on throughout the overnight hours Wednesday with still some dry time mixing in. Showers continue throughout the day Thursday as well, but a few weak thunderstorms are possible, so brief heavy rain and lightning are the main concerns. Showers continue into the evening hours, but gradually decrease throughout the night before tapering off late. Most hours then look dry into Friday, but a stray shower or two may develop throughout the day. Any showers look to taper off late day with dry conditions then following throughout the weekend. Dry weather looks to continue before more rain moves in Monday afternoon.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the light wind will come from the southeast at 15-25 knots. Wind waves 2-4 feet. Showers likely in the morning then showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the southeast at 15-25 knots. Wind waves 2-4 feet. Showers and a chance of thunderstorms in the evening, then rain after midnight. Tomorrow winds come from the east at 5-15 knots becoming northwest to 10 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 2-4 feet subsiding to 2 feet of less in the afternoon. Showers. 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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