FIREFIGHTERS are fighting snakes as well as flames at this time of year.
St Marys fire station commander Phil Whybro said snake-catching was a little-known service many firefighters provided.
"We're all trained to catch snakes at St Marys," Mr Whybro said.
He said not all fire stations had snake-catchers, but they could refer callers to ones that did.
"We try to catch the snake and release it into bushland," Mr Whybro said. "In this heat we've had more calls."
He said most calls had come from St Clair, Colyton and St Marys.
"Most of the snakes are eastern browns," Mr Whybro said. "They're Australia's most venomous snake and they get aggro, so be careful."
He said red-bellied black snakes were also dangerous but more timid than the browns.
Featherdale Wildlife Park's senior reptile keeper James Fong said he knew of no recorded deaths from red-bellied black bites, but said the snake should still be treated with caution.
He said a few people died from snake bites, with eastern browns responsible for about two deaths every year in Australia.
"Many snakes are not venomous but there's no way of knowing for sure," Mr Fong said. "The best thing to do is to leave the snake alone.
"In case you are bitten, know your first aid and seek medical help."
He said people should tidy their yards and keep lawns cut.
Mr Whybro said if people found a snake at home, one person should watch it while another contacted firefighters.
He and Mr Fong urged people not to confront the reptiles.
"People usually get bitten because they try to kill or catch the snake," Mr Fong said.
Mr Whybro said: "All the snake is interested in is getting away from you."