According to CalTrans in the noon hour, there have been a couple of avalanches in the Arctic Circle area, just west of the Big Bear Dam, and this has prompted the closure of Highway 18, west of Big Bear Lake to the Snow Valley area. So, Highway 18 down the front grade to Highway 330 is closed due to avalanche snow on the road. Motorists who were already on this portion of the roadway will be escorted out by CalTrans personnel. As for other roads, chain controls are in effect for all mountain highways over 4,000 feet in elevation, which applies to all roads to, from and within the Big Bear Valley. At present, an R2 chain requirement is in place for Highways 18, 38 and 330, so you must have chains on the drive wheels of your vehicle, unless in a four-wheel drive with snow tires on all four wheels and carrying chains. If planning to leave the mountain using Highway 18 east to the desert communities, be advised that the Cajon Pass on Interstate 15 had been closed due to heavy snow this morning—the 15 is open at this time [1pm], but we cannot guarantee it will still be open to motorists by the time you get there. Given today’s weather and the holiday, travelers will likely experience delays, so please proceed with caution and courtesy if you must be on the road. Update: Per CalTrans, the Arctic Circle portion of Highway 18 will remain closed until the storm subsides; snow removal will then be necessary before Highway 18 is open to motorists.
Firefighting Crews Battling 24 Fires on the San Bernardino National Forest; Monitoring Continues Today, Though (Still) No Fires in Big Bear