SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah firefighter whose department is still reeling from the death of one of their own during California's largest wildfire is starting a new chapter with a dog he found near the same fire.

Draper firefighter Patrick Cullen said Monday he never forgot the exhausted, thirsty German Shepherd who emerged from the wilderness in Northern California earlier this month.

Cullen had to leave the dog behind so he could fight the fire but eventually found him again at the Mendocino County Animal Shelter.

When no one claimed the animal, shelter staffers re-united them. Cullen named him Mendo, after the so-called Mendocino Complex Fire.

He says the dog is a bright spot following the death of Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett, who was killed on Aug. 13 while fighting the blaze.