Search resumes for firefighter who disappeared during forest hike

Search continues for off-duty Arcadia firefighter who vanished Friday in Ventura County mountains

The search for an Arcadia firefighter who has been missing in the Los Padres National Forest for going on five days resumed Tuesday at the campsite where he was last seen, Ventura County Sheriff’s officials said.

Mike Herdman, 34, was hiking with a friend Friday near the Tar Creek trail when his dog ran off and disappeared, authorities said. Herdman gave chase -- barefoot and wearing only a T-shirt and shorts -- and hasn’t been seen since.

“It’s a needle in a haystack trying to find someone back here,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow told KTLA. “It’s very rough terrain, it’s very steep. There’s a vast backcountry here in Ventura County.”

It took Herdman’s friend two days to hike out of the wilderness and alert authorities. The search began Monday morning and lasted until sundown.

Crews began the search scouring the mountains again Tuesday morning by air and horseback. Buschow said search parties would start from the campsite where Herdman was last seen and fan out from there.

Authorities hope Herdman’s experience as a firefighter is helping him survive in the wilderness.

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