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
The Whatcom County Fire Marshall issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County effective Saturday, July 16, 2022; this burn ban remains in effect today. 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:
.- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway). Several single lane closures are in effect for this week. Flaggers or temporary signals will be used to control traffic. Check the WSDOT website for updates on closure status - https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/alerts/road/020
-Air Quality Alert: The air quality is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. The air quality along the Cascade Valleys may be further diminished during this period. All sensitive groups should limit spending any time outdoors. People with health conditions may have worsened symptoms. Healthy people may start to have symptoms. For current air quality conditions, health precautions, and additional information visit swcleanair.gov and www.nwcleanairwa.gov.
-Fire Weather Watch: FIRE WEATHER WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR MODERATE WINDS AND LOW RELATIVEHUMIDITY 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.
Inland Whatcom County Weather
Our weather continues to be dominated by mostly clear skies during the day and night. Temperatures will be in the 70s today with Bellingham topping out around 71 degrees and about 76 or 77 in Sumas and Maple Falls. Winds will be on the lighter side with Pt Roberts seeing some northwest winds and other areas of the county out of the southeast anywhere from 5-11 mph. Tonight's lows will be around 50 degrees. On Saturday and Sunday we will see temperatures about 5-7 degrees warmer than today. Sumas and Maple Falls could see low 80 degree readings. Nighttime lows will continue to be around 50. Monday and Tuesday will see temperatures a few degrees lower. No precipitation is expected during this five-day period but the risk of fire will go up tomorrow due to low humidity and warmer temperatures. In addition there could be some gusty winds in the mountainous areas. There are fires still burning in the national park (far reaches) so some smoke or haze could be encountered in the higher elevations and foothill areas.
Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams
There are no weather systems on the horizon (next 5-7 days). As a result, the Nooksack river forks are being supplied mainly by snowmelt which makes the water temperatures very cold. Keep that in mind if you are planning any activity on the river; hypothermia is a real threat. Also, don't forget, 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
Fall Cleanup and Maintenance for Your Car
With summer's end on the horizon, now is the time to start preparing your vehicle for fall weather and the changes that come with it. Here are a few things to accomplish:
-Inspect your car battery. Check the connections to make sure they are snug and tight. If there is a lot of corrosion around the post, have them cleaned so connections remain solid. Cold cranking amps are important as the days get colder. Check with your service provider to make sure your battery is up to the task; there's nothing worse than the fading cranking power of our battery on a cold day.
-Check your headlights to make sure they are not glazed or clouded over. With time, oxidation creates a film that results in a dimmer and more restricted illumination field. Having someone clean them or cleaning them yourself will make a dramatic improvement.
-Tires are extremely important for several reasons. Remaining tread provides traction as well as channeling water away from the place where the tire contacts the road. Reduction in tread enables water to build under the tire leading to hydroplaning and loss of control. Tread helps ensure better traction in snow.
-Streaks on your windshield or the inability of the wipers to make solid contact with the windshield is a sure indicator your visibility is probably being limited as well. If you're experiencing this, it's time to get new wipers. You can install them yourself, or in some cases depending on where you purchase them, attendants will install them for you.
-Car repair in general. if your vehicle is demonstrating abnormal issues (e.g. difficult starting, unknown noises, blower fans not working or squeaking/rattling, etc.), have them looked at as soon as you can as you will soon need the defrost function in your car and other issues are unlikely to get better on their own.
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.