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South Lake Tahoe Families Celebrate Labor Day By Coming Home

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) - It was a different kind of celebration this Labor Day in South Lake Tahoe. No crowds, but families returned to their homes after the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office lifted Caldor fire mandatory evacuations.

The Rhodes family evacuation adventure is finally over. "We're very happy to be home," Jeanette Rhodes said.

They arrived home Monday for the first time in a week, after fleeing Caldor flames with the rest of the city.

The Rhodes had driven to the coast, then Calaveras County seeking places to stay. "We didn't know what we were going to be coming home to, but we just could not be more happy to be home," Rhodes said.

Carlos Perez and his little girls also made the drive home after evacuating to Delano.

"It feels good," Perez said. "It feels really good."

As more families arrive home, there are more familiar Lake Tahoe sights. People playing on the beach. Bike riding. Not everything is back to normal. South Lake Tahoe Mayor Tamara Wallace has chosen to stay outside city boundaries for now, until more medical services, gas stations and grocery stores come back online.

"The reason that I've chosen to wait is that there are so few services, I don't want to put any further stress on those services that are there," Mayor Wallace said. "So little things like just getting a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread, may be difficult for people because there are so any people now on the south shore."

The Heavenly Ski Resort parking lot is still being used as base camp for firefighters. As the wildfire threat is contained,  a close call was averted.

South Lake Tahoe is still here for families to call home.

"I'm just so proud to be part of this community," Rhodes said.

South Lake Tahoe schools will stay closed in the area for now. The local school district is planning to start the first day of school three days after all the evacuation warnings have also been lifted.

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