Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor: Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/21-18%20-%20Severe%20Weather%20Damage%20%28tmp%29.pdf
UPDATES: NOTE: Fire danger remains high with the North Cascades going to very high as of Thursday at midnight. Two fires located in the North Cascades National Park as of today: 1. Brush Creek 2 Fire (12 miles southeast of Boundary, WA) and 2. Copper Lake Fire (36 miles northeast of Deming, WA).
The Whatcom County Fire Marshall issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County effective Saturday, July 16, 2022. As of that time, all land clearing and yard debris burning was to be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended. Recreational fires will still be allowed with the landowner’s permission but must meet specific requirements (see URL: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3337; or contact the fire marshal's office). Addiotionally,
- If your property lies within Whatcom County Fire Districts (WCFD) 5- Pt. Roberts, 11- Lummi Island, or 17- Sandy Point, you must check with those fire districts for outdoor burning restrictions and to obtain outdoor burning permits (when available).
- If your property lies within, or you are visiting property that is fire protected by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or a federal parks or forest agency, you must contact those organizations about outdoor burning restrictions.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
- RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON FRIDAY TO 7 PM PDT SUNDAY FOR WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 658 AND 659. Fire Weather Zone 658 West Slopes of the North Cascades, generally above 1500 Feet and Fire Weather Zone 659 West Slopes of the Central Cascades Generally above 1500 Feet.
- Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo: Wind northwest 15-20 knots increasing to northwest 20-25 knots early this afternoon then diminishing to northwest 15-20 knots early Friday morning.
- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) is open; however, there are several areas that will need to have emergency repairs this spring/summer/fall. Traffic control lights are placed at those locations. Long delays should be expected especially over long weekends and holidays. In addition to emergency repairs there are areas where normal road maintenance is scheduled along with several culvert replacements for fish passage. Check WSDOT website for current conditions before traveling.
Inland Whatcom County Weather
We are under clear skies for the most part for the next several days. Unfortunately, we'll also be under a Red Flag Warning in the foothills and elevations above 1500' due to conditions favorable for fire. Temperatures today will begin to slowly warm up with tomorrow and Saturday seeing mid to upper 80s in the foothills. There will also be some wind today and beginning tomorrow where gusts in the Newalem area could reach 21 mph tomorrow from the northeast tomorrow. Coastal communities will escape the warmer temperatures and the wind will not be much of an issue except Pt Roberts where northwest winds could gust to 20 mph. Because of some fires burning farther east, Newhalem could experience smoke and haze today and tomorrow before the wind shifts. Bottom line is that we all need to continue our awareness and vigilance until we start seeing rain move back into the area and reduce the fire danger. Thank you for your help.
Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams
Things remain pretty static with the Nooksack River which is normal for this time of year. Most of the water is snowmelt and it is a slow, steady melt keeping the river level and right about where it is now. Be very careful if planning any activity in the water as cold water shock or hypothermia can occur quickly. Wear a life jacket. Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website to check the river levels - https://www.whatcomcounty.us/666/Forecasts-Current-River-Conditions.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Cars and Hot Temperatures
Every year a number of children and pets perish because they are left in vehicles due to high temperatures. It is absolutely critical that everyone understand how rapidly a car can heat up. The following shows the effects after only ten minutes.
At 70 degrees, a car will heat to 89 degrees in ten minutes.
At 75 degrees, a car will heat to 94 degrees in ten minutes
At 80 degrees, a car will heat to 99 degrees in ten minutes
At 85 degrees, a car will heat to 104 degree in ten minutes
At 90 degrees, a car will heat to 109 degrees in ten minutes
At 95 degrees, a car will heat to 114 degrees in ten minutes.
BOTTOM LINE: Do not leave children or pets in vehicles.
While we have been extremely fortunate concerning the risk for wildfire to date, things could change rapidly with dry, hot weather. Now is the time to inventory your home environment to see what wildfire risks you can mitigate against. To that extent, the following information was taken from the National Fire Protection Agency on wildfire preparedness. Additional information about the wildfires and the Firewise program can be found at the NFPA website: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire
1. HOME IGNITION ZONES: To increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire, choose fire-resistant building materials and limit the amount of flammable vegetation in the three home ignition zones. The zones include the Immediate Zone: (0 to 5 feet around the house), the Intermediate Zone (5 to 30 feet), and the Extended Zone (30 to 100 feet).
2. LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE: To reduce ember ignitions and fire spread, trim branches that overhang the home, porch, and deck and prune branches of large trees up to 6 to 10 feet (depending on their height) from the ground. Remove plants containing resins, oils, and waxes. Use crushed stone or gravel instead of flammable mulches in the Immediate Zone (0 to 5 feet around the house). Keep your landscape in good condition.
3. ROOFING AND VENTS: Class A fire-rated roofing products, such as composite shingles, metal, concrete, and clay tiles, offer the best protection. Inspect shingles or roof tiles and replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. Box in eaves, but provide ventilation to prevent condensation and mildew. Roof and attic vents should be screened to prevent ember entry.
4. DECKS AND PORCHES: Never store flammable materials underneath decks or porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks and porches and between deck board joints.
5. SIDING AND WINDOWS: Embers can collect in small nooks and crannies and ignite combustible materials; radiant heat from flames can crack windows. Use fire-resistant siding such as brick, fibercement, plaster, or stucco, and use dual-pane tempered glass windows.
6. EMERGENCY RESPONDER ACCESS: Ensure your home and neighborhood have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 15 feet for emergency vehicle access.
7. FINAL THOUGHTS:
Information concerning face coverings and other protective actions can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department Website.
These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.