A lost dog that was rescued from the Apple Fire by Orange County firefighters has been reunited with his owner, officials said Tuesday.
The canine was discovered wandering along the fire line by crews who were battling the inferno, according to an Instagram post from the Orange County Professional Firefighters, a union that represents more than 1,000 local firefighters.
After rescuing the Queensland heeler, firefighters gave him water and even a bite of a sandwich. They carried the dog down the hillside before handing him off to an animal control representative, the post stated.
A widely viewed video on the Instagram account showed a firefighter holding the dog as he began his descent down the mountain.
The Riverside County Department of Animal Services picked up the dog after receiving a report regarding the canine, which indicated he had burns, according to agency spokesman John Welsh. But it turns out he wasn’t injured in the fire and was found to be healthy.
Later, an animal control officer went to the area to check on a home after hearing animals on the property, according to Welsh. At the residence, the officer spoke to a man and learned that his dog had vanished.
When the officer asked the man if the missing dog happened to be a Queensland heeler, he responded, “Yes,” Welsh said.
It’s unclear how the canine ended up on the fire line.
Had the dog not been claimed, one of the firefighters involved in the rescue was prepared to adopt him, Welsh added.
The Apple Fire has scorched nearly 42 square miles in the Cherry Valley area since erupting in the San Bernardino Mountains last Friday. The blaze was 15% contained as of Tuesday morning.