Missing firefighter: 100 search crews brought in

FILLMORE, Calif. (KABC) -- More than 100 search and rescue crews were brought in Saturday to look for a firefighter who has been missing for eight days in the Los Padres National Forest, authorities said Saturday.

"We're hopeful, we're optimistic, and we're still hoping for the best," said Sgt. Eric Buschow with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Arcadia firefighter Mike Herdman went missing June 13 during a camping trip with a friend. Herdman chased after his dog, Duke, when he ran away. Herdman hasn't been seen since. He was barefoot and wearing only shorts and a T-shirt.

Authorities were hoping Duke would lead them to Herdman. Although Duke has been spotted several times, he has evaded capture and did not enter a trap that was set for him.

The search will continue as long as is necessary, Buschow said.

"It all depends on the circumstances. We evaluate each day: What are we achieving, what are we searching and what are we finding?" he said.

Herdman, 36, is from Dana Point. He is an avid hiker and a trained paramedic. Officials said Friday he is likely hurt.

Five rescuers have been injured in the search, including Bill Herrera, assistant fire chief for the city of Fillmore. He remains in intensive care at Los Robles Hospital for a rattlesnake bite on the hand.

Herrera is 15-year member of the search and rescue teams, Buschow said. Herrera had to take 52 vials of anti-venom, but is said to be awake and in good spirits, according to Buschow.

The search continues Sunday morning.

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