MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – More evacuation orders have been reduced to warnings in Mariposa County, allowing several families to go back home after five days of uncertainty.

Thousands of people were forced from their homes when the Oak Fire broke out five days ago.

The Perez family spent their nights at the Red Cross shelter set up at Mariposa Elementary School, now they’re back home.

Eager to get home, Richard and Leonor Perez loaded up their belongings and their three German Shepherds after getting the okay to return home.

The family of five can now sleep in their own beds after spending several nights at the evacuation center.

“I’m going to take a long shower. I want to take a long shower,” said Leonor.

Reminders of the fire that forced them from their home, however, were not hard to find.

“I was kind of sad because I go, ‘gosh, all my life I’ve wanted my own place, I’ve been here for twenty years and it’ll be gone,’” explained Richard.

Burning just a quarter of a mile from their front door, this was the first time the couple was evacuated.

With everything seeming to be okay on their property, they now worry for those who weren’t as lucky. 

“It’s hard to think that their house won’t be there and they won’t be our neighbors. It’s just hard,” said Richard.

Dozens of evacuees remain at the shelter as of Tuesday night.

However, the couple wasn’t alone in repopulating, other homeowners also left the shelter and made their returns.