Eight-year-old Leia Carrico and 5-year-old Caroline Carrico have been found safe and have been reunited with their family, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department.
A fire chief and firefighter from a local volunteer department found Leia and Caroline Carrico in a wooded area about 1.4 miles from their home in the small community of Benbow, where they had last been seen Friday afternoon, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said.
"How they were out there for 44 hours is amazing," Honsal said. "But it shows the resilience of people who grew up in this community. These girls have a definite survival story to tell, we can't wait to hear it."
The number one concern now is dehydration. The department said the girls were found in good spirits, but dehydrated and cold. Sheriff Honsal said they are doing well after a hot meal and some fresh, warm clothing.
The girls were trained in outdoor survival through 4-H, but it is still unclear if that training contributed to their survival during the 44-hour period.
A photo of one of the girls posted by the sheriff's office has already been widely shared on social media. In the photo, she's seen wearing pink rubber boots, dirty jeans, a long pink shirt and a woolen cap. She is standing while a firefighter kneels down and talks to her.
Rescuers were hopeful about finding the girls Saturday after they came across prints from their boots and wrappers from granola bars, Lt. Mike Fridley said.
"The wrappers showed us a direction from where they started to where the wrappers ended up at," Fridley said.
In addition to the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard, more than 100 law enforcement officers, assisted in the search for the two young sisters who went missing from their Northern California home on Friday, March 1.
Over the weekend Sheriff William Honsal said eight-year-old Leia Carrico and 5-year-old Caroline Carrico went missing after their mother said they could not go out for a walk.
Sheriff Honsal described the search area — about 200 miles northwest of Sacramento — as vast, rugged and rural and the conditions as cold and sporadically rainy.