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Apple Hill Farms Open For Season After Evacuation Ordered Lifted In Some Caldor Fire Areas

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) - Apple Hill farms are back in business this Labor Day weekend, but there are mixed feelings about opening up when the Caldor Fire continues to burn just miles away.

On Saturday, some business owners say, was slower than typical Labor Day weekends. But it still brought in customers like Josie Zinda and her family.

"We're just out here showing our support," said Zinda. "It was nice to know they were open because this is kind of a family tradition for us."

She, like many others, was concerned about the Caldor Fire. Many surrounding farms are, too. Kandi Tuso and the Apple Ridge Farm were in the evacuation zone just days ago.

"The actual cut off was right at our gates," said Tuso. "Just to get the evacuation order is enough to make your heart beat a little faster."

Though that order was lifted a few days ago, and Apple Ridge in Camino was one of the many that made the move to open for business this season. Opening weekend drew out some looking to relax after a tense couple of weeks.

"I've felt like we've had more locals today than not. They just were happy to be able to get out after being locked in hotel rooms most of the day," Tuso said.

But not every business made the same choice.

"This just wasn't the right time for us to open up," said Morgan Hunter, owner of Shorty's Doughnuts in Camino. She's keeping her doors closed for now and said it felt too soon to reopen with many people just getting home.

"There's just so much emotion going on in El Dorado County right now," Hunter said. "Even though people are going back to their homes, it doesn't end there."

But those who did make the trip over the weekend could be seen smiling and enjoying reprieve at popular places, like High Hill Ranch.

"You come up here and see people smiling -- kids playing," said Jerry Bisman, with High Hill Ranch. "It's just a good day out."

The farms that did open up say they were given the OK by the county to do so. Some people had expressed concerns about traffic for evacuees returning home and firefighters working, but the roads had been clear most of the day. Apple Hills business owners say that's expected this time of year, and if it were October, it would be a different story.

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