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California firefighter found dead in wilderness after two-week search

LOS ANGELES, June 27 (Reuters) - Search-and-rescue crews in California found the body of a firefighter in the wilderness on Friday, two weeks after he went missing while chasing his dog in the Los Padres National Forest in California, a sheriff said.

Mike Herdman, 36, was on a camping trip with another off-duty colleague from the Arcadia Fire Department when he disappeared on June 13 while chasing his Labrador into the woods barefoot, wearing only a T-shirt and shorts.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters that the search crews spotted Herdman's body from a helicopter and directed a team on the ground to the location.

"It was incredibly rough terrain," Dean said at a news conference.

The wilderness area where Herdman was found is north of FillmoreCalifornia, and less than a mile from where he was last seen, Dean said.

A medical examiner identified Herdman's body through dental records and there were no indications his death had been caused by foul play, the sheriff said.

The other firefighter who was hiking with Herdman raised the alarm on June 15 after taking two days walking out of the forest following Herdman's disappearance near the Tar Creek Trail.

Last weekend, Herdman's dog, Duke, was rescued from the wilderness and reunited with the firefighter's family members.