Fifteen farm workers in California who had no choice but to flee indoors to escape the smoke and ash descending upon them from the massive wildfire burning nearby were summarily terminated the following day.

With heavy smoke pouring out of the still-burning Springs Fire, strawberry pickers at Crisalida Berry Farms in Oxnard said it became impossible to breath.

The workers were warned by their foreman that they would lose their jobs if they left early, but with air quality at "dangerously poor levels" , the fifteen felt their lives were at risk.

The next day, May 3rd, they were handed their pink slips.

Reached for comment by Telemundo, a spokesperson for the farm said there were still orders to be filled when the workers left the field.

Though the workers were not officially members, representatives from the United Farm Workers union agreed to speak to the farm on their behalf.

Citing a union rule that prohibits workers from being forced to work "under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger," the union reps managed to persuade the farm to rehire the fired employees.

However, all but one had since found work at other farms and did not return.

The farm later claimed the entire thing was a "misunderstanding."

[H/T: Crooks & Liars, screengrab via NBCLA]