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.READ MORE: Updates: Major Storm System Arrives In Sacramento Area
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.”
Highway 50 reopened to traffic between Meyers and Kyburz at 8:02 this morning after being closed for a month due to the #CaldorFire. Be alert for crews working in the area. @CountyElDorado @ElDoradoSheriff @EldoradoNF @CHPPlacerville @CHPSouthLake @CaltransDist10 @CALFIREAEU pic.twitter.com/dDDrd5FLDP
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) September 21, 2021
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.READ MORE: Ironman California 2021 Triathlon Canceled Due To Safety Concerns Brought On By Powerful Storm
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.MORE NEWS: Will There Be Major Flooding In Sacramento? What You Can Expect From Sunday’s Storm
DTSC crews will clean up the ash and debris, then residents can decide whether they will rebuild.