Some of the residents who had to leave their homes because of the deadly wildfire burning in Kern County are now being allowed to return.
The evacuation orders were lifted for neighborhoods no longer threatened by the wildfire.
After days of fire, smoke and ash, it was a sign that things are getting better.
“It’s great. Life is returning back to normal,” said resident Fred Roch.
Cars were back on the road as residents anxiously returned home.
“We’re just thankful to still have our house,” said resident Jacob Worrell.
The excitement of returning back home was mixed with sorrow. Some homes are still standing. While right next door, another was destroyed.
“Coming back home we were always worried about what we were going to see,” said resident Darrell Priebe.
But in the hardest hit areas, residents anxious to see if their homes are still there, have to wait.
Officials say it’s not safe.
“Concerns over chemicals, propane tanks, potential asbestos that was used as a building material and the potential for lead contamination,” said Matt Constantine with Kern County Public Health Department.
There are also worries over power lines that were damaged or knocked down and burned trees that could fall.
But it’s frustrating for homeowners who wonder if they even have a home to return to.
“In one way I can understand, but then when you get in the homeowners shoes on their side of the fence, it’s sad,” said homeowner, Greg Smith
“I know it’s inconvenient, I know you want to go home, we want you to home, but we have to do it the correct and we have to do it the safe way,” said Kern County fire chief Brian Marshall.