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Fullerton Fire Department Relieved Missing Firefighters Are Found

FULLERTON ( — They returned cut, bruised and dehydrated.  But firefighters at the Fullerton Fire Department were grateful to see their missing brothers back safe and sound.

Javier Avelar, 48, and Dave Brown, 33, are both accounted for after being reported missing Sunday, according to Fullerton Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe.

Brown walked into a park ranger's station Tuesday morning, Knabe said. His equipment was later recovered at a nearby reservoir, CBS2's Tom Wait reported.

Avelar was found soon after by a search and rescue team. He was reported to be a bit dehydrated.

"Both men are in good shape and have experience," Knabe said from Yosemite. A search had been conducted for the two men Monday and Tuesday.

According to a flyer being distributed in Yosemite National Park, the two men had planned to spend six days backpacking in the park, starting in White Wolf, through Pleasant Valley over Rancheria Mountain. They had planned to camp on the north side of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and hike the road to Smith Meadow trail.

The two Fullerton firefighters were supposed to be home Sunday. When one of them didn't show up for his shift Monday fellow firefighters knew something was wrong.

Family members and firefighters say they were too emotionally exhausted to talk on camera. A press conference is scheduled here at the Fullerton Fire Department Wednesday at 9 am.

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