EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — After weeks of closures due to the Caldor Fire, crews fully reopened Highway 50 in both directions Tuesday morning.
At 8 a.m., Highway 50 opened to the general public for the first time since evacuations went into effect.
Just after the road reopened, Barbara Howell was able to return to her Strawberry home a month after she first evacuated.
“I’m kind of in shock. I mean, this little, old cabin that has to be at least 60 years old is still standing,” Howell said.
That, she said, is entirely due to first responders.
“Trees look great. My favorite peach shrubs look great. My favorite trees are still in one piece, so I’m really, really happy the firefighters saved Strawberry,” she said.
While the town was saved, work remains to ensure safety for everyone who drives on Highway 50.
Caltrans officials said travelers are not allowed to stop between Kyburz and Meyers. Those who plan to drive through the area should also be aware of hazards along the side of the road, including downed trees and crews at work.
“Majority of that will be done off the highway, however, there still will be delays, possibly flaggers and personnel working the roadway,” said Seneca Smith, with the California Interagency Incident Management Team 12.
Permits are no longer needed to access properties unless the property is on forest service land. If your property is on forest service land, contact the forest service for access information.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office trailer will remain at the Fresh Pond Chevron gas station from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide safety and assistance packets to residents.