An 84-year-old man was airlifted from Topanga State Beach on Saturday after being bitten by a rattlesnake, fire officials said.
About 1:45 p.m., the man walked into Los Angeles County Fire Station 69 in Topanga Canyon, located about halfway between Woodland Hills and the Pacific Palisades, saying he had been bitten by a rattlesnake, said Supervising fire Dispatcher Andre Gougis.
Firefighters rushed the man to Topanga State Beach, where they met a medical helicopter. The man was airlifted to a local hospital. His condition was not known Saturday night.
Southern California is at the beginning of rattlesnake season, experts said. Snakebite season tends to run from April to September, though bites can occur year-round.
Residents in wilderness-interfacing areas like the Santa Clarita Valley, Topanga Canyon, and many Inland Empire communities should take care when venturing outside on hot days when snakes can be most active, experts said.
In the case of a snake bite, it's critical to call 911 and get to a hospital as quickly as possible.
He said people should not attempt any "mythical" snakebite first-aid, like cutting or sucking the wound, tying off the bitten limb or dunking it into a bucket of ice. They're all ineffective or would make the bite worse, Dr. Cyrus Rangan, assistant medical director for the California Poison Control System, told NBC4 last week.