COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect.
The U.S. has extended an order closing the shared border to nonessential traffic until at least August 21, 2021. Canada will allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada beginning August 9th. However, there are several additional requirements you need to be aware of. See Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for additional requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
A "Strong Wind Warning" is in effect for the Strait of Georgia-South Nanaimo. Wind light except southeast 5-15 knots near the mainland coast. Wind becoming northwest 15 knots late this afternoon then increasing to northwest 20 knots this evening. Wind northwest 20 knots Tuesday.
*SR 20 North Cascades Highway as 0f 8/10/2021. Currently on SR 20 there is a reduced speed zone of 35 m.p.h. between milepost 147 and 171 while fire response activity continues in the area. Travelers should expect longer than normal travel times. Do not attempt to pass other vehicles or pull over on the side of the road within the reduced speed zone. Check the WSDOT travel alerts page for current travel information.
The Whatcom County Fire Marshal has issued a Stage 2 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County; it will remain in effect until further notice . For more information, see the following site for more information about this announcement: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/381/Fire-Marshal
Governor Inslee has issued an Emergency Proclamation titled "Wildfires-Burn Ban". This burn ban "imposes a temporary outdoor burn ban by prohibiting all outdoor and agricultural burning in all 39 Washington Counties until noon on Thursday September 30, 2021." Of equal importance is another phrase in the proclamation: "Nothing in this order supersedes more restrictive provision of the counties, municipalities, fire districts, other political subdivision, or public or private landowners." If you review Whatcom County's Stage 2 Burn Ban you will see it IS more restrictive. Additionally, national park service, US Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources, individual fire districts, etc. have their own set of rules which you must review and comply with.
American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, who currently reside in the U.S. and who qualify as fully vaccinated travelers, will be able to enter Canada for discretionary travel starting August 9. Details can be obtained by visiting https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/covid/menu-eng.html . There are additional requirements for travel so see the CBSA website.
State Route 9: Single lane closure today between Sumas and Nooksack as BNSF conducts some work; expect some minor delays. Also, intermittent single lane closures continuing through the month of August and possible into September just south of Acme. More information will forthcoming. Expect some delays during this time. as crews continue to complete the project. WSDOT has been committed to fish barrier correction for more than three decades. A single removed barrier can deliver impressive benefits improving fish habitat both upstream and downstream. Interested in learning more about fish passages, check out our latest fish passage annual report.
The chance for some rain will continue throughout the day and into tomorrow. Temperatures will be pleasant with almost everyone in the county seeing low 70s both today and tomorrow. Tonight, the lows will get into the mid to upper 50s; Newhalem could see some low 50s. Winds will continue to stay in check with 12mph or so being the maximum. Some smoke may filter into the Newhalem area tomorrow. While we will be thankful for the rain if it falls, it will not be enough to change the conditions of the fuels. Many tree canopies will keep the rain from falling on dry leaves or underbrush which remains critically dry.
The fire danger remains high. Before engaging in any outdoor work (e.g. cutting wood, using a weed eater, welding, etc.) or outdoor activities, think through what might create sparks or enough heat to ignite dry fuels. Where you park and the surface you park your vehicle (e.g. concrete, asphalt or grass) plays a huge role in possible ignition. You make the difference. Thank you.
**We are still in a period where temperatures can soar inside your vehicle; it is absolutely crucial you keep the following in mind if you have small children or pets in your vehicle. It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature to reach 104 degrees if the outside temperature is 85 degrees. In 20 minutes, the temperature will reach 114 degrees. And in 30 minutes, it will be 119 degrees. New leave them in your vehicle unattended.**
Flows within the rivers and streams of Whatcom County are normal; expect them to continue to flow steady at current levels.
A weak front crosses the waters today. Stronger northwest winds develop over the coastal waters beginning tonight as high pressure strengthens offshore. Onshore flow pattern continuing through the week. Winds. Today: S wind 5-15 knots. Wind waves 2' or less. A chance of rain in the afternoon. Tonight. SW wind 10-20 knots. Wind waves 1-3'. A chance of rain in the evening then a slight chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow: W wind 5-15 knots becoming S in the afternoon. Wind waves 2' or less. A chance of rain in the morning. A slight chance of rain in the the afternoon. Tomorrow Night. SE wind 5-15 knots. wind waves 2' or less.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Keeping Cool in Hot Weather
1. Drink plenty of fluids (water, juice, etc.)
2. Use portable and ceiling fans.
3. Use cool washcloths, ice packs and take cold showers
4. Avoid cooking on the stove.
5. Keep the curtains drawn.
6. Use light bedding.
7. Stay in lower areas of your home.
And, check on your neighbors to make sure they are alright.
Fuels are dry with lower humidity and temperatures that can be expected to reach into the 80s. Know what your local jurisdictions restrictions are concerning recreational fires, barbeques, etc. by checking your local jurisdictions website or contacting your local fire district. For unincorporated Whatcom County residents visit the Whatcom County Fire Marshal's website at https://www.whatcomcounty.us/381/Fire-Marshal.
See Advisories, Watches, and Warnings above for new or updated fire hazard restrictions (e.g. Stage 2 Burn Ban; Governor Inslee Wildfire Emergency Proclamation).
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.