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'We feel safe or we wouldn’t be here' | Apple Hill open following downgrade of Caldor Fire evacuations

"And we would not invite our customer base here if we didn’t feel we were all safe," Rainbow Orchards owner Christa Campbell said.

CAMINO, Calif. — Apple Hill in El Dorado County is open for business.

Hard to believe, isn't it? This despite the Caldor Fire forcing large swaths of businesses to close for the previous two weeks. Many have been worried this would change their yearly pilgrimage to the Camino area, but things are shaping up to be completely normal.

“We came for the donuts. They have the best donuts ever. And they’re fresh,” Sally Rutz explained as she stopped at Rainbow Orchards in Camino solely for a taste of the famous fried dough.

Rainbow Orchards is on the western edge of the Caldor Fire's evacuation zone, which reopened Wednesday, Sept. 1. Owner Christa Campbell said they're already open for business and whipping up the famous donuts.

She knows some people might hesitate to come up to Apple Hill because of the fire.

“We feel safe or we wouldn’t be here," Campbell said. "And we would not invite our customer base here if we didn’t feel we were all safe." 

Campbell said everyone on Apple Hill is getting up to speed, with most businesses opening their doors ahead of the Labor Day weekend holiday.

“Please come up and see us," Campbell said. "We’re harvesting. We have a beautiful fruit crop this year and we’re all ready to go and anxious to see people."

Just down the road at the Larsen Apple Barn, Lynn Larsen said they’re planning to open Sunday.

“We’re ready for Apple Hill to start. Everybody’s madly working to get ready for our customers,” Larsen said, adding she knows some people might be debating if they should come to Apple Hill. “What I would say is, yes you can come. The park is beautiful. The apples are still here. The fruit and the bakeshops are still open."

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