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Crews report increase in rattlesnake sightings in Camp Fire burn scar

Contractors working in the Camp Fire burn scar have reported an increase in rattlesnake sightings.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 7:08 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2019 10:37 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Contractors working in the Camp Fire burn scar have reported an increase in rattlesnake sightings.

Contractor Ken Blanton who said he has never seen a rattlesnake in his 26 years living in Paradise. Now, he's seen multiple in one week. 

He said other contractors have been seeing more rattlesnakes as well. 

"Be way cautious because they look like sticks. They are the baby ones and they are only about the size of a stick and about 16 inches long so they are very easy to not even notice," Blanton said. 

Action News Now reached out to staff from Enloe Medical Center and Oroville hospital to understand what people should do if they are bitten by a rattlesnake. 

One physician's assistant, Paul Robie, said one in four bites are dry bites, meaning the snake doesn't release any venom. However, he said people should always still go to the hospital in case the bite is venomous. 

Doctor's will look at the bite to see if there is any swelling, which would indicate whether the snake released venom or not. The doctors also do lab studies and watch the patient to make sure they are OK, Robie said. 

Those in need of antivenom will need to get it within six hours of getting the bite. 

The antivenom used covers bites from all snakes in the United States. They often start with six viles and see if the treatment has helped before repeating the process every hour if needed, he said. 

Both Enloe Medical Center and Oroville Hospital said they carry the antivenom and are able to treat multiple snake bites at a time. 

Oroville hospital officials say they have seen four snake bites this year, while Enloe Medical Center officials say they have seen five. 

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