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The original item was published from 9/29/2023 7:45:15 AM to 10/3/2023 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: September 29, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Friday, September 29, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

We should have a nice fall weekend, but rain will move in again on Monday. 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 removed the burn ban effective Wednesday, September 27 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

Skies remain clear to mostly clear minus some patchy fog developing overnight and burning off into the morning hours both Friday and Saturday morning. Temperatures warm a degree or two into Saturday afternoon compared to previous days.

Conditions look to remain dry through the rest of the weekend with temperatures remaining similar into Sunday afternoon. Conditions look to start off dry Monday morning, but a few showers redevelop in the afternoon ahead of another system moving in. Showers then look to continue off and on through the rest of the day and overnight before decreasing late. A few stray showers then look to linger into Tuesday, but taper off late day with dry conditions following overnight. Most hours look dry Wednesday, but a stray shower or two may develop in the afternoon before conditions dry out overnight. Similar conditions look to follow into Thursday with just a stray shower or two developing.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the northeast 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 10-20 after midnight. Wind waves 1-3 feet. Tomorrow winds come from the northwest at 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2 feet of less. 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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