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Evacuations now in place around days-old wildfire in SE Whatcom County

DIABLO, Wash. — The Sourdough Fire north of Diablo Lake in Whatcom County was first reported on July 29th. As of today, Friday, August 4th, the fire covered over 500 acres.

Evacuations are in effect today for the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. I addition, there is no access across Diablo Dam until further notice. Trail, area and camp closures are also in effect due to fire activity.

There was significant fire growth yesterday along the southern edge of the fire downhill to Diablo Dam Road, and to the northeast toward Sourdough Creek, due to hot, dry, and windy conditions.

Helicopters were used extensively, dropping water to slow fire spread. Fire personnel were actively engaged in structure protection, triage, and preparation based on fire location and behavior, which included setting up hose lays, sprinkler systems, and preparing structures in the town of Diablo.

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Fire personnel will continue to focus on structure protection efforts in Diablo and the Environmental Learning Center, as well as scout and identify possible fire containment lines.

Crews will assess structures and park infrastructure in the Ross Lake area for structure protection. Helicopter water drops will continue in an effort to slow fire spread and downhill fire due to terrain-influenced roll-out. Terrain is extremely steep, rugged, and inaccessible. Increased fire behavior is possible today with continued hot, dry, and windy conditions. Southern Area Gray Incident Management Team via Inciweb (August 4, 2023)

Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation reported the North Cascades Highway (SR20) remains open for east-west travel across the state.

There are portable message signs located along SR 20, asking drivers not to stop along the route. These signs as well as the closures of local roads are in place for your safety as well as the safety of those fighting the fires. Washington State Department of Transportation (August 4, 2023)

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