HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Firefighters battling a brush fire near the Appalachian Trail in western Connecticut were dealing with another threat this week — rattlesnakes.
Authorities said the blaze burned about 200 acres of rugged terrain in an area known as Schaghticoke Mountain in Kent between Wednesday and Friday afternoon, when it was brought under control.
Kent Volunteer Fire Chief Alan Gawel, the incident commander, said the fire disturbed dens of the timber rattlers and more than a dozen snakes were spotted fleeing the heat , including one that slithered between the legs of a firefighter on Thursday.
“As you are trying to create a fire line in the rocks, boom, there’s a snake,” he said. “It’s a real battle, not to mention what it does to your nerves.”
Several dozen firefighters from 17 departments helped battle the fire, and no one had been bitten. But authorities have alerted hospitals to make sure they have a supply of anti-venom.
Because this was a wilderness fire, firefighters were not wearing typical heavy turnout gear and had no protection from snake strikes, Gawel said.
Dennis Schain, a spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said while there is a large population of snakes in the area, they typically steer clear of people and would only pose a danger if stepped on or made to feel threatened.
“They’ve been in these pockets of Connecticut for a long time, and hardly anybody ever sees them,” he said.
He said once the fire is out, state wildlife experts will go in looking to rescue any injured snakes, which would be brought to the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island to be rehabilitated.
Schain said the fire should not pose any permanent threat to the snake population in the area. Connecticut is home to just two venomous types of snakes, the timber rattlesnake and the northern copperhead.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Arizona governor finally names new social services agency director
- Border agents in Arizona drop from copter, snag suspects, 430 pounds of pot
- Teachers’ union leader surprised by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey veto of bill
- Load up on the ice, find shade, Phoenix area heating up to triple digits this week
- Dad of Times Square crash victim leaves note at her memorial