Arcadia Firefighter Disappears Chasing Runaway Dog on Hike


Off-duty Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman went missing during a hike north of Fillmore on June 13, 2014. (Credit: City of Arcadia)

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An Arcadia firefighter who went missing Friday during an off-duty hike in the Fillmore area of Los Padres National Forest was the subject of an ongoing search Monday.

Mike Herdman, 34, was hiking with a friend to the popular trail to Tar Creek when his dog ran off, according to Capt. Mike Franke of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

The trail is off a dirt road in the Topatopa Mountains, north of the small city of Fillmore (map).

Herdman, a seven year veteran of the fire department, was barefoot and wearing only shorts and a T-shirt when he took off after the dog, according to a news release from the Arcadia Fire Department.

His friend, Taylor Byars, followed after Herdman but the two men eventually became separated, the release stated.

After two days of searching, officials said, Byars hiked out and notified authorities on Sunday evening that Herdman was missing.

About 15 people from a local search and rescue team were looking for Herdman, as were three to four air units and volunteer firefighters, Franke said.

Franke said a “tentative” command post had been set up at Dough Flat, which is north-northeast of the parking area for Tar Creek trailhead, according to area trail maps.

The search was originally reported by the Ventura County Star, which stated that the dog had also not been found.

KTLA’s Rose Razeghi and Kennedy Ryan contributed to this article.


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