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Man reunited with dog he thought had died in California wildfire

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deepblue4you/iStockBy ERIC NOLL and HALEY YAMADA, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Man and man’s best friend have been reunited after the Apple Fire in California.

Greg Skeens thought he had seen the last of his Blue Heeler, Buck, when the dog took off running into hills as firefighters arrived to battle the flames surrounding Skeens’ home.

“It was one big, orange flame all the way around the house … and I thought we were gonna die,” Skeens told local reporters.

Buck fled and was “chasing a coyote three times his size … I thought he was gone,” Skeens added.

The Apple Fire burned more than 28,000 acres outside of Los Angeles in just five days. As thousands of firefighters continue to combat the flames to save residents and homes, a few Orange County firefighters spotted a dog, lost and alone.

It turned out to be Buck.

The firefighters, who had spotted the dog farther out into the fire line, carried him to safety and handed him over to local authorities.

Days later, an animal control worker ran into Skeens and listened to his story about losing Buck. The worker put two and two together and was able to reunite the pair.

Just three days after Skeen thought he had lost Buck forever, they were reunited in a heartwarming moment.

Buck is now safe and sound at home, and, the Orange County Fire Department told local reporters, those who rescued him are back out on the front lines.

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