Search For Missing Firefighter Scaled Back - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Search For Missing Firefighter Scaled Back

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 CASTAIC (CNS) - The search for a missing off-duty Arcadia firefighter was in a scaled-back mode on Monday, after more than 5,000 accumulated hours of searching over seven days failed to turn up the missing man in craggy, parched mountains north of Fillmore.

Ventura County sheriff's searchers told reporters at mid-afternoon Sunday that the family of Michael Herdman, 36, and search and rescue experts agreed to scale back their efforts at sunset Sunday. A small group of searchers will remain both at the Tar Creek trailhead, and at Herdman's last campsite, 15 miles into the rugged Sespe Wilderness.

"Obviously, (the family) would like us to go on forever, and I certainly understand that, and I was sympathetic," Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. "But, sadly, at some point, you have to make a decision about what the odds are and what's the likelihood with all these resources out here that we might be successful."

Herdman's dog was found Sunday at the trailhead, dehydrated and hungry. The dog had dashed into the brush a week ago Friday, prompting a barefoot Herdman to chase after it. He was not seen again.

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