Firefighters Struggle With Stubborn Holcomb Fire Near Big Bear Lake

BIG BEAR LAKE (CBSLA.com) – Hot, dry conditions and difficult terrain continued to pose challenges for firefighters as their battle against the Holcomb Fire burning northeast of Big Bear Lake entered its third day Wednesday.

The Holcomb Fire, which broke out Monday afternoon, was burning 1,540 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest and was 10 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service said.

A heat advisory for the San Bernardino Mountains remained in effect through 9 p.m. Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to lower slightly Thursday and Friday, before rising again over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

The fire temporarily forced mandatory evacuations Tuesday in the Baldwin Lake area. However, the evacuation order was later lifted. No structures have been damaged. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

More than 1,200 personnel from multiple agencies were battling the fire, which is burning through brush, chaparral and timber. Nine water-dropping helicopters and four air tankers were being utilized.

The following roads remain closed:

— Highway 18 is closed from Delta Avenue north to the intersection with the Mitsubishi Cement Plant;
— 3N16 at 3N09;
— Holcomb Valley Rd East closed at Highway 18;
— 3N69 at Highway 18;

The Pacific Crest Trail was closed between Highway 18 and Van Dusen Road.

The Doble Trail and Tanglewood Group campgrounds were also closed.

Firefighters with USFS, the Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County, CAL FIRE and the Big Bear Fire Authority were all engaged in the firefight, which was led by the USFS Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team.

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