A 15-year-old got lost in the southern area of Algonquin Park over the weekend when he went out for a walk with his dog.

The Media Relations Coordinator for the OPP’s East Region says the boy was staying in the area with his family.

“He tried to make an outbound call, we couldn’t track it,” Dickson explains. “Eventually we did get a bit of a location.”

A helicopter was called in and used its infrared camera – also referred to as FLIR – to locate him.

The boy had started a fire that Dickson says made it easier for the chopper to find him.

He says that OPP Emergency Response Team members were already on the ground, so the helicopter operators directed them to where the boy was.

He and his dog were located and were safely returned home.

Dickson points to a search and rescue that happened last year in Algonquin Park when two girls were found safe after a multiple-day search.

“It really exemplifies the program we call ‘hug a tree,'” he says.

When you realize you’re lost in the forest, Dickson says the best thing to do is stop right away and don’t go any further.

“What happens is people get further and further in the woods and get more lost,” he explains. “If you’re capable of starting a fire, if it’s safe to do, by all means, do that and wait for rescue to come to you.”

–Story written by Matthew Reisler