Firefighters Rescue Lost Dog During Southern California Wildfire

OC firefighter carries lost dog in Apple Fire

This story has been updated with more information about the dog, Buck, and why he ran away.

As they battled the so-called Apple Fire in Southern California, firefighters from Orange County made an unusual discovery. A Queensland Heeler mix was wandering alone along a fire lane, far away from any houses but not far from the wildfire burning nearby.

The crew with OC Firefighters, Local 3631 gave the lost dog water and part of a sandwich. They called Riverside County Animal Services (RCAS) and then carried the dog down a hill to the waiting animal control officer.

“Lt. Luis Rosa of our Coachella Valley Animal Campus — and his colleagues — responded to the call and transported the very sweet, very loving dog to our San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus,” RCAS wrote on its Facebook page yesterday.

If no one claimed the Queensland Heeler, the firefighter seen carrying him in this video promised to give the dog a forever home.

Fortunately, that won’t have to be the case, KNBC reports. When animal control officer Sgt. Lesley Huennekens was checking in on Greg Skeens of Banning to see if he needed any supplies for his pets and livestock, Skeens told her his dog, Buck, had chased after a coyote and disappeared. With the fire burning in the hills surrounding his home, Skeens thought the worst and figured he’d never see Buck again.

Imagine Skeens’s surprise when Huennekens asked him if his missing dog happened to be a Queensland Heeler mix.

Thanks to the efforts of those firefighters, Skeens was reunited with his wayward dog.¬†As you can see in the video, they were both delighted to see each other again. Not only did firefighters save Buck, but they had also saved Skeens’ home from being burned to the ground.

Meanwhile, those OC firefighters along with other crews are still bravely fighting the Apple Fire, which has destroyed four homes and burned over 32,000 acres as of August 8. Luckily no people or pets have died, including one Queensland Heeler whose life was likely saved thanks to the kindness of that OC Firefighters crew.

Photo: Riverside County Animal Services/Facebook

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!