Containment on Holcomb Fire in S.B. Mountains Jumps to 65 Percent as Highway 18 Reopens

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Containment on a wildfire in the San Bernardino Mountains jumped to 65 percent Friday morning as several days of relatively benign weather with high temperatures and light wind allowed crews to surrounded the blaze on three sides.

A burned area of the San Bernardino Mountains left by the Holcomb fire is seen in an image posted to the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station Facebook page.

The Holcomb fire has burned across 1,562 acres of steep mountain slopes and rugged terrain meant for wild animals like big horn sheep rather than humans. This made the initial attack on the wildfire slow-going, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The blaze started Monday afternoon and quickly spread across more than 800 acres as unpredictable winds pushed it north and west toward Highway 18 north of Baldwin Lake.

But as a heat wave settled across Southern California over the course of the week, the winds died down and crews wielding hand tools and operating heavy machinery trekked into the forest and methodically built up defenses.

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