Drones Deployed in Search for Firefighter Who Disappeared in Ventura County Mountains

The Arcadia firefighter has been missing in the Los Padres National Forest since Friday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Arcadia firefighter was reported missing during a camping trip with a friend in the rugged mountains of Ventura County near Fillmore. As the search entered a fourth day, drones were deployed to fly in steep canyon areas. Beverly White reported for NBC4 on Thursday June 20, 2014.

    Federal agents and two drones on Thursday joined the search for an Arcadia firefighter who has been missing for six days in the Los Padres National Forest.

    Eleven federal agents from a division of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were sent to help search for Mike Herdman, 36, who disappeared Friday when chasing after his dog during a hike.

    The special agents were taken by helicopter to the forest where the search is being conducted. They are trained in search and rescue in rugged terrain and first aid, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said.

    "We’re there in a support capacity," Kice said.

    New Developments in Search for Missing Firefighter

    [LA] New Developments in Search for Missing Firefighter
    The search for the firefighter lost in the Los Padres National Forest got help Wednesday in the appearance of a dog that matches the description of Michael Herdman's dog. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from the Los Padres National Forest for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

    The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department also deployed two drones in the air to search for clues to Herdman's wherabouts, Sgt. Eric Buschow said. The agency has been testing the technology in recent weeks.

    Herdman was reported missing Sunday when his friend, also a firefighter, who was on a backpacking trip with him, emerged from the forest.

    Herdman was barefoot, wearing shorts and a T-shirt when he disappeared.

    Searchers said they found Herdman’s backpack and footprints by his campsite.

    Buschow said searchers on Wednesday saw a dog that authorities are confident was Herdman's German shorthaired pointer, Duke. However, the dog ran away.

    The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department have also joined the search.

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