High Heat and Steep Terrain Hampering Efforts to Contain the Holcomb Fire

High Heat and Steep Terrain Hampering Efforts to Contain the Holcomb Fire

BIG BEAR LAKE – The Holcomb Fire, which began on Monday, June 19, 2017, at around 3:05 p.m. The wildfire north of Baldwin Lake in the Big Bear Lake area has now spread to 1540 acres with 10% containment.

As of Wednesday night, 1241 firefighters from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County, CALFIRE, Big Bear Fire Authority and other local agencies are working to contain the fire. The firefighters are continuing to battle the fire in high temperatures, low humidity, and difficult terrain.  As temperatures reached nearly 95 degrees, the midday fire activity increased. Of the 1240 personnel assigned to the fire 104 are Engines, 9 Water Tenders, 24 Hand-crews, 6 Dozer, 4 Air Tanker, 2 Air Attack, 9 Helicopters. Two heat-related injuries were reported on Monday, but no additional injuries have been reported.

The closure of Highway 18 remains, between the Mitsubishi Cement Plant and Delta Avenue near Baldwin Lake. This closure may cause increased traffic on mountain highways. Forest roads including Van Dusen Canyon (3N09) and Holcomb Valley Road East (3N16) are closed. A section of Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Highway 18 and Van Dusen Canyon Road. Doble Trail and Tanglewood Group Campgrounds both remain closed. There are currently no evacuation orders. “Residents and visitors should monitor the fire, and be prepared to leave if conditions change or if new fire threatens your community,” USFS officials said.

Weather tonight is expected to be mostly clear, with a low around 43 degrees. Winds are supposed to be 10-15 miles per hour in a Southwest direction with 25 mph gusts. Warm and dry weather are expected to continue through the weekend.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District officials issued a smoke advisory warning that the air quality may reach unhealthy levels in areas directly impacted by the smoke.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Forest Service investigators are asking for the public’s help to establish the cause. Anyone who may have been in the area of the Pacific Crest Trail near Holcomb Valley Road north of Highway 18 or the Doble Trail Camp between 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 17 and 3:05 p.m. on Monday, June 19th are asked to call (909)382-2699.

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