Searchers Look for Missing Firefighter in Southern California

Firefighter was off-duty when family reported him missing

 

 

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Searchers combed a section of the San Bernardino Mountains on Saturday for signs of a missing off-duty firefighter, authorities said.

The search focused on an area of Highway 18 where Carlos Baltazar’s car was located by the California Highway Patrol on Sept. 20, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

Baltazar, 35, a member of a U.S. Forest Service Interagency Hotshot Crew, was reported missing by family members on Sept. 24.

At the time, he was off duty and not in the area of the El Dorado Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest. Another hotshot, Charles Morton, died while fighting that fire on Sept. 17.

A search following the family’s report turned up Baltazar’s backpack about 75 yards (68.5 meters) away from the car. Bloodhounds tracked Baltazar’s scent but lost it.

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