By Christy McLeap

According to information from the U.S. Forest Service, Firefighters are starting to get a handle on the Holcomb fire that is burning northeast of Big Bear Lake. As of Tuesday morning the fire was at 950-acres blaze and 10 percent contained.

A little after 3 p.m.Monday afternoon the fire was reported off Holcomb Valley Road north of Highway 18 and fire officials say it’s burning through timber, tall grass and chaparral. According to officials, the fast spreading wildfire grew overnight by 100 acres.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, authorities said.

The Press Enterprise reports that according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Big Bear Fire Department, there aren’t any mandatory evacuation orders put out, but there was a voluntary evacuation set for the Holcomb Valley and Baldwin Lake areas.

There are several road closures that are still in place: Hwy 18 between Delta Avenue in Baldwin Lake and Mitsubishi Plant Road in Lucerne Valley; Holcomb Valley Road (also known as 3N16) is closed between Hwy 18 and Van Dusen Canyon Road (also known as 3N09) and Van Dusen Canyon Road/3N09 between Holcomb Valley Road/3N16 and North Shore Drive.

The Pacific Crest Trail is also closed between Hwy 18 and Van Dusen. A couple of campgrounds have also been closed; the Doble Trail and Tanglewood Group campgrounds.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory Monday night. Due to the fire unhealthy air conditions in portions of the eastern San Bernardino Mountains are expected.

According to Inciweb, the night flying aircraft were used overnight and currently there are 18 Engines, 9 Water Tenders, 16 Hand-crews, 1 Dozer, 8 Air Tankers, including tanker 911 (VLAT), 1 Lead Plane, 1 Air Attack, 6 Helicopters helping to put out the blaze.

The ban of drones and private aircraft flying over the area has been set in place by the Federal Aviation Administration. According to the U.S. Forest Service, if anyone violates the temporary flight restriction they will “face serious criminal charges” as drones “pose a serious risk to firefighting and can cause air operations to cease.”

There has been an information phone line been set up for the fire, 909-383-5688.


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