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Firefighter missing 5 days: Went searching for dog in woods, now both missing

Firefighter missing after looking for his dog in the woods and not returning.
Firefighter missing after looking for his dog in the woods and not returning.Facebook/ Willow Creek

The search continues today for the missing firefighter who ran after his dog in the woods and never returned. The firefighter was camping in the woods with a friend when the dog took off, but now both the man and his dog are missing, according to Fox News on June 18.

The Aradia firefighter went missing on Friday in the Los Padres National Forest. Michael Herdman was hiking with a friend on this camping trip, who is also a firefighter. According to Mail Online, his friend unsuccessfully looked for him before heading back to get help.

At the time his dog ran into the woods and Herdman followed after him, he was only dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and he wasn't wearing any shoes. They were relaxing at their campsite when Herdman ran off after the dog, so he wasn't prepared for the rugged terrain.

He didn't have his backpack with him which had all his supplies. The two friends hiked so far into the forest that it took the other firefighter two days to hike back out and alert authorities to his missing friend and his dog.

Herdman is a firefighter and a paramedic with the Arcadia Fire Department and he is in good physical shape and top form. He is an avid hiker, bike rider and camper, so he is at home in the woods.

Herdman embarked on backpacking hike with this other firefighter through the Sespe Wilderness on Wednesday and on Friday, two days in, he went missing. Officials are worried for his welfare because he went into the woods without shoes in the dark. The terrain in that area can be unforgiving.

Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow said that the two men who were hiking had all the gear that they needed for the nights out in the woods. Unfortunately when Herdman took off after the dog, he didn't have any of that with him. He wasn't even wearing shoes.

When Herdman took off after the dog it was dark so he fears he could have been hurt in Sespe Creek which has big boulders and deep spots. Even with shoes someone could be seriously injured on those rocks.

Monday the backpack was found at the campsite that Herdman took off from and they also found prints consistent with someone who is barefoot. The search for Herdman continues both from the air and on horseback. Buschow said it will take two days to hike out to the spot where he was last seen.

Herdman's family and friends are gathered at a make-shift command post waiting for word on their beloved firefighter. Buschow did say "at this point, no foul play is suspected." The family was hoping Herdman and his dog would be home for Father's Day, but Father's Day came and went. On Wednesday there is still no word on his location.