- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The recent surge in temperatures has awakened well-known Arizona desert menace: rattlesnakes.

Authorities are responding to snake calls much earlier than usual because of the recent run of 80-degree temperatures. Snakes come out of hibernation when the temps warm up.

The Northwest Fire District outside Tucson started getting calls in the last two weeks from panicked residents about rattlers in their yards and patios, something they don’t usually see until late March and early April.

The fire agency responds to snake calls when they are reported in danger areas such as garages, houses, enclosed backyards, playgrounds and preschools. Firefighters grab the slithering reptiles behind their heads with a 4-foot pole, place them in a metal box and return the snakes to the desert.

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