Numerous agencies came together to safely detonate some dynamite found in an old barn near Highway 395 Saturday, Jan. 4 — an act that closed the highway and caused “insignificant” damage to the barn.
According to a statement from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, a Milford resident called the department Jan. 2 and reported he discovered what appeared to be several sticks of dynamite while cleaning out an old barn on his property.
To confirm what the resident discovered, the Washoe County Explosive Ordinance team was contacted and requested to respond and make positive identification — which they confirmed.
“EOD team members advised the dynamite appeared to be very old and in an extreme state of decay. The risk of moving it out of the barn for disposal elsewhere would be extremely dangerous. Therefore, EOD recommended the dynamite be disposed of in place,” read the statement.
Due to the barn being in close proximity to Highway 395, the California Highway Patrol advised travelers driving on Highway 395 near the residence could be at great risk during disposal and they recommended a highway closure.
“On Jan. 3 personnel from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, Washoe County EOD, Cal OES, Milford Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Lassen County Code Enforcement and Cal Fire, began to plan for the safest way to dispose of the dynamite and to ensure there would be no danger to the property owner and the public. EODs initial plan was to set the barn aflame with a secondary option of remote detonating it in place,” the statement continued.
On the morning of Jan. 4, strong prevailing winds in the area caused the EOD team to implement the secondary option of destroying the dynamite by remote detonating it in place inside the barn. At approximately 10:30 a.m., the Washoe County EOD team successfully and safely disposed of the dynamite. There was insignificant damage caused by the remote detonation and the structure of the barn is completely intact.
“The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public for their understanding related to the highway closure,” read the statement. “Further, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciates the time and resources afforded by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office EOD team, California Highway Patrol, Milford Fire Department, California Correctional Center Fire, Cal OES, Cal Fire, Cal Trans, Lassen County Code Enforcement and Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric.”