Brush fires forcing wildlife from their habitats across Florida

Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 17:50:25-04

Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency across Florida because of the 100 wildfires that are burning more than 23,000 acres. 

RELATED: Governor Rick Scott declares state of emergency for Florida due to increased wildfire risk

IN DEPTH: How to keep wildfires from spreading to your home

Brush fires are causing wildlife to relocate from their habitats to find new sources of food. 

Chris Wirt with A All Animal Control Tampa Bay has received calls from homeowners in Wesley Chapel neighborhoods for wild hogs that have been displaced. 

Polk County firefighters also came across a rattlesnake while fighting a brush fire in the Indian Lake Estates. 

"This shows some of the other dangers our firefighters face," said Battalion Chief Chris Hancock. 

Also, two days ago a man was bitten by a five and a half foot rattlesnake at the River Ranch hunting grounds. 

Wirt said animals are relocating to find food sources after bugs and lizards have died in the fires. 

Hope Allen, was bitten two years ago by a rattlesnake outside her home, "it felt like I stepped on a nail."

Allen was transported to the hospital where she received 18 vials of antivenom. 

"I didn't feel the venom going through my veins," she said, "it felt like my muscles were tearing."

Now's the time to examine the exterior of your home to make sure food sources are removed.

Dead brush and leaves attract bugs and lizards, which eventually lead to snakes.

Take a look at your mulch, pine bark can attract more bugs too. 

Keep your yard clutter free, so snakes can't find places to hide.