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The original item was published from 8/17/2022 8:49:28 AM to 8/23/2022 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: August 17, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday. August 17, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Active Incidents

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:  

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).  Additionally,   

- 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:

- HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT PDT THURSDAY NIGHT for hot conditions with temperatures in the mid 80s to mid 90s expected. This will pose a moderate to high risk of heat-related illness. This is for western Whatcom County southwest interior including Bellingham.

- Excessive Heat Warning REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT PDT THURSDAY NIGHT for dangerously hot conditions with temperatures in the  Cascade Valleys in the upper 90s and approaching 100 degrees are  expected on Wednesday and Thursday. Overnight lows will remain in the 60s. This will pose a very high risk of heat-related illness for locations below 2000 feet.  The area includes the West Slopes South Central Cascades and Passes, West Slopes North Central Cascades and Passes and West Slopes North Cascades and Passes.

- RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM WEDNESDAY TO 10 PM PDT THURSDAY FOR DRY AND UNSTABLE CONDITIONS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 658 AND 659.   AFFECTED AREA...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.

- Strong Wind Warning In Effect for the Strait of Georgia - South of Nanaimo:  Wind northwest 5 to 15 knots increasing to northwest 15-25 knots early this morning then becoming northwest 15 knots Thursday evening.

- 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

Today and tomorrow will be the warmest days of the week with upper 80s expected along the coast rising to the mid-90s or so in Maple Falls area.  All this will be under clear skies so not much chance for a break.  There will not be much wind either; only Pt Roberts will have a breeze (8-14 mph from the northwest) that may provide a little relief.  The overnight lows will drop into the low 60s but Newhalem will remain a little warmer coming in at 68 or 69 for the overnight low. Expect tomorrow to be very much the same, perhaps a degree or two warmer. There may be a few clouds around tomorrow. On Friday, the temperatures will drop by roughly 8-10 degrees.  In addition to the heat advisories and warnings for today and tomorrow, there is a Red Flag Warning.  That means conditions are in a state that makes fire danger significant. Adhere to all the fire burn bans and restrictions. If you are in a location where some fire is still allowed, make sure you know what the requirements are for having a fire.  

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

High pressure is offshore with thermal low  pressure inland. Westerly winds will strengthen down the Strait by  Friday night as onshore flow increases.     Winds. TODAY NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less.  TONIGHT W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less.  THU NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less.  THU NIGHT NW wind to 10 kt becoming N after midnight. Wind  waves 2 ft or less.  FRI NW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW to 10 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less in the afternoon. 
 
 
Tide Information (Cherry Point)





DATETIMEHIGH TIDELOW TIDE
August 17, 20220423
2.09
August 17, 2022
10296.53
August 17, 2022
1541
3.74
August 17, 2022
22048.72
August 18, 2022
0513
1.41
August 18, 2022
12056.52
August 18, 2022
1631
5.12
August 18, 2022
22298.32
August 19, 2022
0605
0.90
August 19, 2022
13576.93
August 19, 2022
1739
6.23
August 19, 2022
22547.92


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.

Hot weather Safety Precautions from the WA State Department of Health:https://doh.wa.gov/emergencies/be-prepared-be-safe/severe-weather-and-natural-disasters/hot-weather-safety#:~:text=Wear%20a%20wide%2Dbrimmed%20hat,you%20do%20not%20feel%20better. 

Hot weather precautions to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible unless you're sure your body has a high tolerance for heat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
  • Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light.
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
  • Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets.
  • Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill or may need help. If you might need help, arrange to have family, friends or neighbors check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water.
  • Salt tablets should only be taken if specified by your doctor. If you are on a salt-restrictive diet, check with a doctor before increasing salt intake.
  • If you take prescription diuretics, antihistamines, mood-altering or antispasmodic drugs, check with a doctor about the effects of sun and heat exposure.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering a house by as much as 80 percent.

If You Go Outside:

  • Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler; then gradually build up tolerance for warmer conditions.
  • Take frequent breaks when working outdoors.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun block and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes when outdoors.
  • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.
  • Avoid sunburn: it slows the skin's ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly or very young people.

Wildfire Preparedness

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:  

  • Develop, discuss, and practice an emergency action plan with everyone in your home. Include details for handling pets, large animals, and livestock.
  • Know two ways out of your neighborhood and have a predesignated meeting place.
  • Always evacuate if you feel it’s unsafe to stay—don’t wait to receive an emergency notification if you feel threatened from the fire.
  • Conduct an annual insurance policy checkup to adjust for local building costs, codes, and new renovations. n Create or update a home inventory to help settle claims faster.

 

COVID-19

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.


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