Vegetation Fire – Big Bear City – Update 28 Sunday, June 25 – 6:40 a.m.

By Susan A. Neufeld


Update 28 Sunday June 25 – 6:40 a.m.

The fire is currently  1,503 acres, with 90% containment. There are currently 662 firefighters assigned including 22 engines, 11 water tenders, 18 hand crews, 11 helicopters and 1 air attack. Unexpected late afternoon thundershowers aided firefighting efforts.


Update 27 Saturday June 24 – 7:07 p.m.

Bear Valley Electric said that all power has been restored to the Big Bear Valley.  They appreciate the patience of their customers that has been demonstrated through this past week. Thank You for your support.


Update 26 Saturday June 24 – 8:45 a.m.

The Holcomb fire was downgraded to 1,503 acres overnight with  80% containment.

Update 25 Friday June 23 – 8:00 p.m.

The Holcomb fire is currently at 1,562 acres with 75 % containment. There are currently 1,163 firefighters assigned including: 64 Engines, 27 Water Tenders, 27 Hand-crews, 1 Dozer, 2 Air Tankers and 1 Air attack.

Update 24 Friday June 23 – 3:23 p.m.

Tomorrow Saturday June 24, 2017, SCE will be attempting to replace a critical pole by utilizing a helicopter and the power supply lines from Lucerne. SCE has notified Bear Valley Electric the estimated outage window will be 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in order to safely complete this work.  Actual times may vary.

At approximately 9 a.m. the following areas may be affected with rolling blackout power outages. Fawnskin, parts of Bear City, Moonridge, Sugarloaf, Erwin Lake and Lake Williams.BVES will swap out the above the listed areas approximately every two hours.

At (approximately 1 p.m.) BVES will re-align the power system. This will require all customers experiencing a minor 5-50 minute outage to safely make the switch over.

Update 23 Friday June 23, 6:58 a.m.

The Holcomb fire held at 1,562 acres over night and is 65% contained. Highway 18 is now open from Delta Avenue north to the intersection with the Mitsubishi Cement Plant.

Update 22 June 22 – 9:25 p.m.

Highway 18 remains closed from Delta Avenue north to the intersection with the Mitsubishi Cement plant Overnight.

Highway 18 will tentatively reopen at 6 a.m. Friday morning. Drivers are asked to reduce their speed and be alert for fire personnel and heavy equipment on the road as firefighters continue to work in the area.

Several forest roads remained closed:

3N16 at 3N09

Holcomb Valley Rd East closed at Hwy18

3N69 at Hwy 18

3N61 Jacoby Canyon Trail

Update 21, June 22 – 8:40 p.m.

The Holcomb fire is at 1,562 acres and is 35% contained. There are 1,273 personnel fighting the fire.


Update 20, June 21 – 7:00 p.m.

The Holcomb fire currently stands at 1,540 acres and is 10% contained.


Update 19, June 21 – 10:36 a.m.

Air attack just requested that Air Tankers assigned to the Holcomb fire be launched. Should be seeing planes soon.


Update 18, June 21 – 7:03 a.m.

The Holcomb fire had little growth last night. Fire stands at 1,200 acres and is 10% contained. There are 1,072 firefighters, 66 engines and 6 dozers on the fire.


Update 17, June 20 – 8:55 p.m.

The Holcomb fire is now at 1,200 acres with 10% containment.

Update 16, June 20 – 7:36 p.m.

We are receiving multiple reports of power slowly returning to the Big Bear area. If your’s isn’t back on yet, it should be soon and, remember, there could still be rolling power outages for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Fire is still at 950 acres with 10% containment. There are now 1,014 firefighters on the fire.

Update 15, June 20 – 6:06 p.m.

Mandatory evacuations have been lifted for 1st, 2nd & 3rd streets @ Hwy 18 in Baldwin Lake.

All tankers are off the fire, due to visibility issues. There are still 3 water dropping helos on the fire.

Update 14, June 20 – 4:10 p.m.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for 1st, 2nd & 3rd streets @ Hwy 18 in Baldwin Lake only. Residents are advised to be prepared to leave immediately.

Additionally, a Cooling Center has been opened at the Big Bear Library. You can find additional information here:

Update 13, June 20 – 3:55 p.m.

Bear Valley Electric Service is reporting a power 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. Additional updates will be given as they become available.

Update 12, June 20 – 3:31 p.m.

Units on the Holcomb incident are calling for a Hard Closure at Baldwin Lake Rd and North Shore, for the foreseeable future.

Update 11, June 20 – 12:15 p.m.

CURRENT SITUATION:  The fire remains at 950 acres with 10% containment. Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team 2 is in command of the fire today.

Road closures include:

Highway 18 is closed between Delta Avenue north to the Mitsubishi Plant Road.

Van Dusen Canyon Road

3N16 at 3N09

Holcomb Valley Rd. East closed at Hwy 18

3N69 at Hwy 18.

There are currently no evacuation orders for the Holcomb Valley.

Pacific Coast Trail at Hwy 18 to Van Dusen Road is closed, as well as the Doble Trail Campground and Tanglewood Group Campground.


Update 10, June 20 – 7:45 a.m.

The Holcomb Fire, which began Monday, June 19, at approximately 3:05 p.m. is now at 950 acres with 10% containment.

There are 450 fire personnel on the scene. There are currently 18 engines, 9 water Tenders, 16 hand-crews, 1 dozer, 8 air tankers, including tanker 911 (VLAT), 1 lead plane, 1 air attach, 6 helicopters.  The air attack began again this morning at 7 a.m..

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Update 9, June 19 – 10:08 p.m. 

Holcomb Fire – Taken from the side of Hwy 18 by a member of Strike Team 6230C, as they wait for it to bump the highway at Cactus Flats. Photo courtesy of Jason Brooks – SBCoFD.

Current Situation: The Holcomb Fire began around 3:05 PM on June 19th. The fire quickly grew and there is zero percent containment. There are currently 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. The Night Flying Air-Attack has been ordered. There are currently no evacuation orders.

Update 8, June 19 – 8:09 p.m.

Airshow will start tomorrow at 7 a.m. with a substantial amount of airpower (7 tankers – VLAT- several helicopters).

Temps and winds are currently on the decrease – fire looks significantly better from Big Bear. No evacuations in place for the Big Bear Valley.

Holcomb Fire, as seen from near the Big Bear Airport at about 7 pm. Photo courtesy of Lilia Vollaire Ross.

Update 7, June 19 – 7:08 p.m.

Per Socal Mtns scanner, strike team 6230C being toned out for structure protection on the Mitsubishi side (Northern side) of the fire

Update 6, June 19 – 6:57 p.m.

Per Big Bear Fire there are currently 250 people actively working the Holcomb Fire, with 14 engines, 5 hand crews, 5 helicopters, 7 air takers and  1 VLAT ( DC10).

Aircraft order for tomorrow. All aircraft report to fire at 7:00 a.m. 8 helicopters (type 1 and 2) 6 air tankers (type 1 and 3) and the VLAT (DC10). Units be on the fire by 7 a.m. per air attack.

Roads Closures: Updated
Highway 18 is closed between Baldwin Lake Road north to the Mitsubishi Plant Road.
Van Duesen Canyon road
3N16 at 3N09
Holcomb Valley Rd East closed at Hwy 18
3N69 at Hwy 18

Update 5 Monday, June 19- 6:36 p.m.

Per air attack: Holcomb Fire is now 1,000 acres.

VLAT 911 (very large air tanker- DC 10) is over the Holcomb fire now.

Per scanner: Hwy 18 via Lucerne Valley is now closed- fire is expected to make it to 18 in the next couple of hours (south of Mitsubishi).

Update 4 Monday, June 19 – 6:31 p.m.

Holcomb Fire: Taken from down bound Hwy 18 at approx 5:30 pm. Photo courtesy of Natalie Legner.


3N16 at 3N09
Van Dusen Road
Holcomb Valley Rd East closed at Hwy 18
3N69 at Hwy 18

Hiking Trails:
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Hwy 18 to VanDusen Road

Doble Trail Campground
Tanglewood Group Campground

Update 3 Monday, June 19 – 6:05 p.m.

Per SoCal Mtns scanner the fire is now a 850 acres – expected to reach Hwy 18 North East of the fire in the next few hours. Burning NW and NE.

An ambulance was sent for a firefighter with heat exhaustion.

Update 2 Monday, June 19 – 5:35 p.m.

The only evacuation orders at this time are the Pacific Crest Trail and The Tanglewood Group Camp, near the start of the fire.

7 air tankers on or enroute to this fire, VLAT (very large air tanker) also enroute to the fire. VLAT has arrived on the scene of the Holcomb fire.

Per air attack: fire is 450-500 acres and is moving north by northwest moving toward the SRA (State responsibility area). No immediate threats to any structures

Update 1 Monday June 19 – 5:02 p.m.

Big Bear City, CA – Vegetation fire  at Holcomb Valley Road and North Shore drive, Big Bear City.  It is being called the HOLCOMB fire.

Units from Cal Fire, Us Forest Service and Big Bear City have responded to the  incident.

Air and ground resources are on scene or enroute.  At this time the fire is reported to be 200 + acres.

The incident  command center is at the Big Bear dump site.

Will update as more information becomes available.