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Hikers beware: Rattlesnakes are out from hiding

PHOENIX -- A warning to hikers on the Valley mountain trails, the warmer temperatures have brought out the rattlesnakes.

Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Chris Ketterer said the cold-blooded creatures are looking to warm up.

"That could be on hiking trails and rocks. If you see one, back away slowly."

Most snakebites occur when someone fails to put plenty of distance between themselves and the rattler.

"Get away and warn others on the hiking trail. If there's a known problem on the trail the park rangers are helpful."

Many snakebites involve people who've had too much alcohol and decide to taunt the snake Ketterer said.

Don't be surprised if a rattler shows up around your home on a driveway, patio or porch. Call a pest controller if the snake is not a direct threat. When your life is in danger or you've been bitten call 911.

Ketterer advised hikers to wear the proper footwear and long pants and stay on the trails.

Last year Phoenix Fire responded to 29 rattlesnake calls. There has not been a snake bite-related call in 2013.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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