190 poison oak cases treated during California firefight

Aug 25, 2015 1:45 PM by News Staff

SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (AP) - Nearly 200 firefighters have been treated for allergic reactions to poison oak while battling a stubborn wildfire that has charred more than 5 square miles of dry brush on California's Central Coast.

Cal Fire spokesman Bennett Milloy said Tuesday that the dreaded plant is so ubiquitous in the steep terrain of San Luis Obispo County that crews can't avoid it. Milloy says the poison oak is intertwined with chaparral and reaches 12 feet high in some places.

Milloy, who suffered an outbreak himself, says at least 190 firefighters have been treated - but many more likely haven't reported their itchy, oozing symptoms.

More than 1,300 personnel are on the scene of the blaze near the town of Santa Margarita. The fire, sparked Aug. 16, is 85 percent contained.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Most Popular