Photos Of Exhausted California Firefighters Go Viral (Photos)

| by Daniel Barnes

Photos showing a group of California firefighters, exhausted from battling the ongoing wildfires in the state, are going viral. 

In the photos, posted by the Sebastopol Fire Department, exhausted firefighters take a rare opportunity to get some sleep, lying down in the dirt, on pavement, or in any chair they can find.

The firefighters have nothing between them and the hard ground and are shown using rocks as a pillows. 

Raging wildfires in California have killed 31 people as of Oct. 13. Hundreds are missing and thousands of homes and business have burnt to the ground. 

The town of Sebastopol is less than 10 miles west of Santa Rosa, where nearly 3,000 homes have been destroyed, according to The Washington Post. 

Firefighters from all over the state continue to battle the fires, which spread across 190,000 acres, about the same size as New York City.

"We all have suffered a trauma here, and we're going to be a long time in recovering from this incident," said Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey, according to The Post.

Members of the Rincon Valley Fire Protection District, from northeast of Santa Rosa, reportedly worked for five days straight, never getting a real chance to sleep. 

"We have slept off and on throughout the incident in engines, pickups, hose beds, etc.," said firefighter Fred Leuenberger, according to CNN. "There have been few breaks, just enough to get home and check on family." 

A picture posted on Instagram by Leuenberger shows firefighters eating a donated meal at their station. The station in Rincon Valley is 200 yards away from the edge of the wildfires, according to CNN. 

"[These firefighters] have given up their own personal comfort to sleep on the ground, have gone days away from family, eat a meal when one happens to show up. Throughout it all I have not heard a single complaint or selfish word...#amazing," wrote Leuenberger on Instagram.

Fire officials are aware of the massive strain the fires have placed on firefighters, but say they are trying to allow as much rest as they can. 

"We are stretching them shift after shift, said the California Fire deputy incident commander in Napa, Barry Biermann, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We are trying to get them rest so they can reengage fresh. They are being pushed to limits that have not normally been pushed due to all these life safety issues and rescues."

Firefighters in Santa Rosa continue to battle the fires, despite losing their fire station. 

CNN reports that Santa Rosa Fire Station No. 5 was renovated in 2015 but has now been completely destroyed by the fires. A picture shows the firefighters eating dinner in a nearby front yard before heading back to work.

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