Update 6/30/17 – Eleven days after the Holcomb Fire broke out north of Baldwin Lake, the fire has reached full containment. Forest Service Managers are now working to open impacted roads back to public use. At its peak, approximately 1,100 firefighters from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County, CAL FIRE, Big Bear Fire and other local agencies were working to stop the fire’s growth. No growth is expected on the 1,503 acre fire, however smoke from interior smoldering may linger in the high desert
Update 6/27/17 – The Holcomb Fire is 95% contained. The total acreage remains at 1503 acres. Firefighters will continue to monitor for hotspots and will continue wildfire suppression repair to dozer lines and roads. Demobilization of excess resources will continue. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) remains closed from Hwy 18 to Van Dusen Canyon Road. Otherwise, Van Dusen Canyon Road is open. The Tanglewood Group Campground has reopened, however, the Doble Trail Campground remains closed. Holcomb Valley Road is open from Highway 18 to the Transfer Station.
Update 6/25/17 – Southern California Incident Management Team 2 will be transferring incident command back to the San Bernardino National Forest as of 6:00 p.m. today with Michael Koontz serving as Incident Commander.
Acreage has been determined to be 1,503 due to more accurate mapping. Unexpected late afternoon thundershowers yesterday aided firefighting efforts; containment is now 91% on the fire. The highest priority is to protect the safety of fire personnel and to protect human life followed by the protection of private property and structures.
Over 600 firefighters from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County, CAL FIRE, Big Bear Fire and other local agencies are working to contain the fire. As containment increases, fire personnel are being released and made available for other incidents nationwide.
Update 6/24/17 9:30am – After reassessing the acreage of the Holcomb Fire, the size has been reduced to a total of 1503 acres burned and crews now have the fire 80% contained.
Update 6/24/17 7:30am – Now at 75% contained, the fire remains at 1562 acres with 1163 firefighters with 64 Engines, 27 Water Tenders, 27 Hand Crews, 1 Dozer, 2 Air Tankers and 1 Air Attack Plane. The Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 18 to Van Dusen Canyon is still closed. All roads to and from Big Bear are open. A Smoke Advisory is still issued for the High Desert.
Update 6/23/17 2pm – The Holcomb Fire is now at 65% containment. The total acreage remains at 1562. There are 1236 firefighters assigned to this fire including 104 Engines, 10 Water Tenders, 25 Hand Crews, 6 Dozers, 1 Air Tankers, 2 Air Attack Planes, and 7 Helicopters. Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley reopened this morning.
Update 6/23/17 5:30 am – Highway 18, the back grade to Lucerne Valley is set to reopen at 6:00 am. If you are planning to use this route please slow down and watch for heavy equipment and firefighters in the area.
Update 6/22/17 6:20 pm – The rate of spread of the Holcomb Fire slowed considerably today. The total acreage is now 1562 with 35% containment. There are 1273 firefighters assigned to this fire including 104 Engines, 10 Water Tenders, 24 Hand Crews, 6 Dozers, 4 Air Tankers, 2 Air Attack Planes, and 9 Helicopters. At this time, Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley remains closed. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Forest Service Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance to help establish the cause of the Holcomb Fire. If you have any information, please contact the Forest Service Investigators at (909) 382-2699. All calls can remain confidential.
Update 6/22/17 10:00am – The Holcomb Fire is currently at 1540 acres with 10% containment. There are 1241 firefighters assigned to this fire including 104 Engines, 10 Water Tenders, 24 Hand Crews, 6 Dozers, 4 Air Tankers, 2 Air Attack Planes, and 9 Helicopters. An Incident Command Post has been set up at Big Bear High School.
Highway 18 to Lucerne remains closed, however Highway 18 (North Shore Drive) has re-opened between Paradise and Baldwin Lake Road. A Smoke Advisory has been issued for the High Desert area. There are currently no evacuation orders in place.
Update 6/21/17 5:00 PM – Holcomb Fire Investigators seek Public’s Assistance – Forest Service Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance to help establish the cause of the Holcomb Fire which started on Monday June 19, 2017. Anyone who may have been in or around the area of the Pacific Crest Trail near Holcomb Valley Road north of Highway 18 or the Doble Trail Camp between 6:00 pm on Saturday June 17 and 3:05 pm Monday, June 19th, please call (909) 382-2699. All calls can remain confidential.
Update 6/21/17 4:00 PM – Rolling Blackout Schedule: Holcomb Valley Fire is threatening the one operating Southern California Edison power line from Lucerne. Therefore, BVES is shifting loads to the Bear Valley Power Plant and the SCE line that comes up from Riverside. BVES is requesting that all customers minimize consumption by turning off air conditioners, additional lighting and heavy appliances.
Sugarloaf: Estimated restoration time 3:00 PM
Moonridge: Estimated restoration time 4:00 PM
Big Bear Lake near Park Ave and Conklin: Estimated outage 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Erwin Lake: Estimated outage 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Big Bear City near Division Drive: Estimated outage 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Fawnskin: Estimated outage 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Sugarloaf: Estimated outage 5:00 PM tp 7:00 PM
Moonridge: Estimated outage 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Update 6/21/17 10:30am – The Holcomb Fire, which began on Monday just after 3:00pm, is currently at 1200 acres with 10% containment. There are over 1000 firefighters assigned to this fire with 66 Engines, 6 Water Tenders, 24 Hand Crews, 6 Dozers, 4 Air Tankers including the VLAT, 2 Air Attack Planes, and 9 Helicopters. Additional resources are continuing to arrive.
Highway 18 to Lucerne remains closed, however Highway 18 (North Shore Drive) has been re-opened between Paradise and Baldwin Lake Road. A Smoke Advisory has been issued for the High Desert area.
Update 6/20/17 8:10 PM – The Holcomb Fire is now at 1200 acres with 10% containment. Fire crews have limited access because of the steep terrain so, at this time, they are reinforcing their containment lines. Because of today’s power outage, their usual ability to provide more statistics on the fire was hampered and they expect to have more information in the morning after the 6am briefing. The Holcomb Fire also created challenges for Bear Valley Electric today including a Valley wide power outage. Edison power lines were damaged as the Holcomb Fire spread resulting in a massive power outage. Thankfully, Bear Valley Electric Service was able to fully restore power to the Big Bear Valley as of 7:25pm. The three sources of electric power are coming from the BVES power plant, Lucerne Valley and Riverside. They are requesting that you minimize your electricity usage this evening as the system may still be unstable. Please keep your AC off as well as large appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. BVES will reevaluate the situation in the morning and Edison will need to conduct repairs to their damaged power lines. If you are still without power, contact Bear Valley Electric Service at 800-808-2837. Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley remains closed. But, North Shore Drive has reopened and all mandatory evacuations have been lifted.
Update: 6/20/17 5:50 PM – Paul Marconi, Director of Bear Valley Electric, has informed Kbear that today’s power outage is a result of a fire flare up near the Big Bear landfill damaging the Edison lines that deliver our power supply from Lucerne Valley. There is limited power supply from Riverside. BVES is working to restore 70% of the Valley’s power on a rotating schedule. They are keeping the power supply going for critical services such as the hospital, sheriff’s station and fire department. They have also powered the circuits for the service industry such as the markets and gas stations. Other circuits will have rolling blackouts. Until Edison is able to have access to the area of the damaged power lines and conduct the repairs, service could be sporadic. BVES is requesting that you minimize your power usage until the power lines are completely restored which could take 24 to 48 hours. Keep your AC off as well as large appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Again, if your power is restored, please minimize your electricity usage until full restoration is complete.
Update: 6/20/17 at 3:30 PM – Bear Valley Electric System is aware of an outage affecting customers valley-wide. Crews have responded and are assessing the damage due to the Holcomb Valley Fire. The estimated time of normal restoration is between 24-48 hours. BVES is working to provide temporary power and is asking that all customers reduce their consumption to a minimum, by turning off air conditioners and not using heavy appliances, to assist with rolling blackouts in the area. Additional updates will be provided as they become available.
Update 6/20/17 7:45 AM – Utilizing night flying aircraft overnight, the Holcomb Fire grew to 950 acres with 10% containment. Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley remains closed at this time. The US Forest Service is in command of this incident. As of this morning, they have established their incident command center at Big Bear High School. Maple Lane is open, however, it is advised to avoid the area of allow for the movement of fire personnel. There are currently 18 engines, 9 water tenders, 16 hand crews, 1 dozer, 6 aircraft tankers including 1 LVAT, 1 lead plane, 1 air attack and 5 helicopters and 450 personnel working the Holcomb Fire. No evacuations are in place.
Update 6/19/17 7:00 PM – The fire has now consumed 850 acres and is moving away from Big Bear to the north east. The threat to Big Bear is Moderate at this time. Highway 18 was closed earlier to all traffic from Big Bear to Lucerne Valley (Cushenbury Grade). At this time 250 fire personal have been assigned to the Holcomb fire, 14 engines, 5 type 1 hand crews, 5 helicopters, 7 aircraft and one VLAT ( Very Large Aircraft)DC10). The Pacific Crest Trail is closed along with other forest roads in the area. Big Bear Fire, County Fire, BLM Fire, and Forest Service Fire are working hand in hand with Forest Service as the incident commanders. As evening falls night air operations may be seen if night certified pilots are assigned.
6/19/17 4:00 PM – At approximately 3:15 pm this afternoon, a fire was reported in Holcomb Valley near the Big Bear Transfer Station. Per Big Bear Fire personnel, the fire is growing at a rapid rate and air attack is reporting 200 acres, moving towards the desert, away from the Big Bear Valley. Holcomb Valley is under a voluntary evacuation. There is no evacuation for Baldwin Lake residents at this time. The threat to Big Bear is moderate. Big Bear Fire, Cal Fire, County Fire, Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service are responding. The Incident Command is Big Bear Fire Department Station 284 in Baldwin Lake. There are currently 7 air tankers, 5 helicopters, and 1 dozer, plus multiple engines. The road to the Big Bear Transfer Station is closed but all other roadways remain open, however, fire equipment is moving around Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley so travel in that vicinity is not recommended.