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Seasonal Firefighters Rehired, Heading to Southern California

AUBURN -- Cal Fire firefighter Sean Hughes says he was laid off by the state agency on Monday, so he was a little surprised to get a phone call from them Tuesday.

"I saw the call coming in from my captain and I thought maybe I forgot to sign a paper and he asked me if I'd be willing to come back to work," he told FOX40. "I was a little shocked to be called back so fast."

He did, but not in the way he expected.

Hughes is one of more than 20 firefighters in the Auburn area who signed contracts Wednesday morning before they headed off to fight a number of massive fires burning in Southern California.

"Most of our seasonal firefighters, they work for a term of up to nine months. That's when are typically on duty," Cal Fire spokesperson John Hotchkiss said.

The firefighters who left Auburn on Wednesday will join other Sacramento area fire departments and their strike teams already in Southern California.

Sacramento City Fire Department spokesperson Chris Harvey tells FOX40 his crews will be mainly responsible for protecting homes.

"A lot of our crews are assigned to be in these neighborhoods and they are basically doing like a triage," Harvey said. "They were asked this morning at the morning meeting by the office captain to go into these neighborhoods and select those homes that they think are most in danger and try to take a stand where they can safely do so."