Updated Sept. 21, 8:03 a.m.
Highway 50 fully reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than a month because of the Caldor Fire.
Angela DaPrato, a spokesperson for Caltrans, said Sunday that residents along Highway 50 would be able to get permits to inspect their properties starting at 8 a.m. Monday. Find more information and a form for residents here. Commercial vehicles were also allowed Monday.
Then, starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, the road reopened to the public.
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
Caltrans spokesman Steve Nelson says fire-damaged trees had to be cleared before it was safe for the public to use.
"We're really fortunate as far as the pavement is concerned, it really didn't take a lot of damage from a fire," Nelson said. "The damage was more to the trees, signage, guardrails."
Drivers should be alert to crews working in the area, Nelson said. He cautioned that the area will look very different than it did before the fire.
“It's really sad, actually, to see the damage that was done, but we got to a point where we thought, OK, yeah, motorists can drive through here safely through this corridor and there's going to be crews out there weeks, months, years," Nelson said. "It's a lot of damage.”
Caltrans first closed the road Aug. 20, four days after the Caldor Fire started near Grizzly Flats in El Dorado County. As of Monday, it’s still closed to the public between Kyburz and Meyers.
At its height, more than 53,000 people were evacuated because of the fire, which has so far destroyed nearly 800 homes and burned 219,101 acres. As of Monday morning, it was 75% contained.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Simon Brown said that even though residents will be permitted to go through Monday, the area is still under an evacuation order.
"You can't stay the night, but you can secure your property," Brown said Sunday. "And once Highway 50 opens [Tuesday], we're hoping to be able to change those regulations."
While much of Northern California is under a red flag warning for dry, windy conditions, firefighters said Sunday that the Caldor Fire stayed within containment lines.
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