By CBS13 Staff

POLLOCK PINES (CBS13) — Highway 50 is back open in the Sierra Tuesday morning after being closed for weeks because of the Caldor Fire.

The road was reopened at 8 a.m. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is handing out safety and assistance information at the Fresh Pond Chevron station near Pollock Pines for people returning home for the first time.

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Dozens of residents and property owners were temporarily allowed through the closure on Monday to inspect their homes for any damage.

“A lot of anxiety waiting to get up here,” one resident said. “It’s going to be good to finally go back home.”

People returning home are asked to keep an eye out for tree and utility crews who may still be working in the area. Further, those who have properties on US Forest Service land are being told to contact the Forest Service for access details.

Now that firefighters have a handle on the Caldor Fire, the clean-up process begins.

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The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is combing through the hard-hit town of Grizzly Flats. Their job is to dispose of any dangerous material that burned in the fire – like batteries, used oil, and propane tanks.

“If you inhale those asbestos fibers, it can cause problems in your lungs, it can give you cancer, it can cause soil contamination,” said Ivan Rodriguez, an environmental scientist with the DTSC.

It’s a process they say can take weeks.

“They are essential steps in allowing for these property owners to move on and figure out what they’re going to do with their properties,” Rodriguez said.

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DTSC crews will clean up the ash and debris, then residents can decide whether they will rebuild.