According to Cpt. Fernando Herrera, Cal Fire public information officer, a child suffered a rattlesnake bite at 3:25 p.m. Sunday, June 21 at the Fuller Mill Creek Campground north of Pine Cove. Cal Fire responded to attend to the child, who was transported by Mercy Air to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

Herrera spoke to the Town Crier about tips for rattlesnake and outdoor activity safety during this summer season. The warm weather increases calls for Cal Fire when people aren’t properly prepared. 

“Besides snakebite incidents, we have several responses for inaccessible rescues in the mountain communities,” Herrera said. “The weather is warmer and folks are hiking more on the weekends.”

Cal Fire suggests the following to help protect yourself from a rattlesnake bite: Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through rural terrain. Stay on well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots. Be careful when climbing on rocks or gathering firewood and never grab sticks or branches while swimming in lakes or rivers. Another important tip: do not handle freshly killed snakes which can still inject venom.

As for hiking, before you leave be sure to tell someone your route and when you plan to return, that way they can contact authorities, if you’re not back to your destination as planned. Hiking with a friend or group is safer than hiking solo. 

Use a map that shows updated trail information and conditions, and of course, stay on the trail. Bring adequate water (a minimum of two quarts per person, per day), carry a first aid kit, a whistle and a flashlight. Extra food and snacks are also a good idea and make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

Cal Fire also suggests you wear weather-appropriate layers of loose-fitting and lightweight clothing and supportive footwear. 

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but just be sure to do it safely.