ELK GROVE -- From fire gear to water and everything in between, Cosumnes Firefighter Bill Herbert checks and double checks, making sure everything is in place.
"It's a young man’s game," said Herbert.
The team is off to fight the Sand Fire raging in Southern California.
The steep rugged hillsides of the Santa Clarita Valley are proving a formidable challenge for firefighters.
"As far as the physical labor of this type of work, it is the most intense work I've ever done in my life," said Herbert.
Gathered at a Walmart parking lot in Galt, crews from Sac Metro Fire and Cosumnes Fire join forces as one team.
"We send out strike teams, which is five engines and a strike team leader," said Sac Fire Battalion Chief Brad Schumacher.
Resources had to mobilize at a moment's notice.
"I think that California has a world-class organization system, it's really amazing when you realize the amount of resources we were able to put together in a short period of time," said Schumacher.
A 22-year veteran, Herbert is no stranger to the front lines of firefighting, but the dangers of the job, aren’t taken lightly.
"My wife and son came to see me off and I almost started crying," said Herbert.
For many like Herbert, it’s more than a job, it's an act of service.
"It’s my calling in life," said Cosumnes Fire Captain Pete Young.
Young says they try to remember that their service has a big impact.
"Often it's just as simple as giving someone a bottle of water and a hug, it makes a difference," said Young.
The firefighters deployed Monday could be gone up to two weeks, depending on the need.