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Another Sacramento-Area Strike Team Departs for Thomas Fire

Service over self, especially during the holiday season, as 44 firefighters from the Sacramento area are heading down to the destructive Thomas Fire.

"Every little kid wants to be a fireman," Metro Fire firefighter Daniel Weld said.

For Weld, 27, getting to be a firefighter is a dream come true.

Just two days ago, he finished his probationary training as a Metro firefighter.

Tuesday morning, Weld geared up for his very first strike team deployment. It just so happens that his destination is one of the largest fires in California history.

"It is a big fire," he told FOX40. "This would be a great learning experience for me, to see fire behavior that people haven't seen."

In the last two weeks, the Thomas Fire has ravaged thousands of homes. It's even taken the life of a fellow firefighter. But Weld and 43 firefighters from the region volunteered to relieve crews who initially responded.

"They've been down there 14 days, and it's time for them to come home, and we're going to let them coming back to their families," Metro Fire Battalion Chief Mark Repetto said.

Depending on Mother Nature, this group could very well spend Christmas and New Years on the front lines.

"My girlfriend knows, probably two weeks we'll be gone. Let the whole family know, from grandma down to mom, brothers and sisters, and so they all know," Weld said.

But they say it's a sacrifice they're willing to make, no matter how new or experienced they may be.

"We're all here to do the same job," Weld said. "We're all firemen, we're all here to protect each other, to protect the public."