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Private firefighters go to work for California's wealthy

Evie Fordham

A small contingent of private firefighters is protecting the homes of California's wealthiest as the Kincade and Tick wildfires burn in both northern and southern California.

The cost is roughly $3,000 a day, and the private firefighters tend to focus on prevention measures, The New York Post reported.

However, private firefighters are more likely to contract with insurance companies like USAA to offer mitigation services to customers. Sometimes neighborhood associations hire private firefighters, according to The Post.

Homeowners hiring private firefighters make up about 5% of the industry, David Torgerson of Wildfire Defense Systems told The Los Angeles Times last year.

Firefighting crews working for insurance companies do not just wait around for the fire to spread to the areas they're protecting. They often install sprinkler systems and spray retardant, according to The Post.

When trying to fireproof a particular home, crews will take the time to rake away vegetation surrounding the home and close windows and vents, The Times reported.

Thousands of Californians have been ordered to evacuate their homes in the latest round of dangerous blazes.

The Kincade fire in Sonoma County had burned 26,000 acres and was around 11% contained as of Sunday morning. About 90,000 residents were ordered to evacuate near the Kincade blaze.

Meanwhile, the Tick fire in northern Los Angeles County had burned 4,600 acres and was 55% contained as of Sunday. Nearly all the 50,000 residents ordered to evacuate last week were allowed back home.

Conditions caused Pacific Gas & Electric Company to begin shutting off electricity Saturday at 5 p.m. local time for 940,000 homes and businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, wine country to the north and the Sierra foothills.

FOX Business' Paul Conner contributed to this report.

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