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The original item was published from 9/27/2023 7:03:11 AM to 9/30/2023 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

This looks to be a cool, rainy and sometimes blustery week, but looks like we may have a nice fall weekend. 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

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

Localized flooding or ponding water on roads possible through Wednesday morning with steadier rain.

Periods of rain then continue into Wednesday morning before breaking into a few stray showers mid morning. Showers then continue hit and miss throughout the rest of the day with dry time mixing in. With periods of rain, localized flooding or ponding water on roads are possible. Breezy winds are into Wednesday morning as gusts reach 20-25 mph for most areas, but winds decrease in the afternoon.

Showers then continue hit and miss through the evening hours Wednesday with dry time mixing in before increasing to become more frequent late overnight. Frequent showers then continue into Thursday morning, but decrease mid to late morning across the area. Then, just a few stray, light showers linger with more dry time mixing in.

Lingering showers look to gradually taper off through the evening hours Thursday with dry conditions following after midnight. Most hours then look dry into Friday, but a stray shower or two can be expected hit and miss throughout the day with plenty of dry time mixing in. Any showers look to taper off into the evening hours with dry conditions following the rest of the night and through the weekend ahead. A few stray showers look to develop Monday and Monday night before increasing to steadier rain Tuesday morning, but confidence is low at the time so we will keep you updated.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the east at 15-20 knots becoming northwest 5-15 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 2-4 feet subsiding to 2 feet or less in the afternoon. Showers in the morning then a chance of showers in the afternoon. Moving into the evening, winds will come from the south at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2 feet or less. Showers likely in the evening, then showers after midnight. Tomorrow winds come from the south at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2 feet of less. 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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