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Explosives detonated in rural Red Bluff

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jun 25 2014 08:47:17 PM CDT
RED BLUFF, Calif. -

On Wednesday ten containers of explosives were detonated in southwest Red Bluff.

The Tehama County Sheriff's Department said various forms of liquid and crystallized material along with blasting caps were found in a shed on Johnson Road Monday.

The Shasta County Bomb Squad decided they were too dangerous to transport and they needed to be destroyed.

Tehama County Sheriff's Lieutenant Yvette Borden said the items were found when family members were going through a relatives things who were previously involved in mining operations.

Johnson Road in southwest Red Bluff is fairly isolated which was a good thing for the bomb squad Wednesday as they worked to destroy ten containers of potentially volatile material.

"They found liquid but they also found liquid that was crystallized and they think some of it was actually nitroglycerin which once it becomes crystallized it becomes very volatile just simply dropping it, moving it can cause an explosion," Borden explained.

But Borden said the age of the materials is still in question.

"A lot of the labels are worn off the containers so we don't even know if it's all nitroglycerin or it could be water for that matter."

Nonetheless Borden admitted this is a unique case.

"I honestly can't remember when we've had this type of situation happen."

But the incident is still much smaller than a recent case in Shasta County.

Back in February the home of D Ray East was burned to the ground after Sheriff's officials said it was the only way to destroy the amount of explosives found.

"This is a lot less than that," Borden said.

In the Johnson Road incident a robot was used to move the explosives away from the home and shed before detonation, with little risk for fires or other problems.

"We have so many people assisting us today and we're just taking our time," Borden explained.

Johnson Road was closed for the majority of the day and although it's sparsely populated neighbors said they understand the closure and delays.

"They have to do what they have to do and I appreciate all the emergency responders  that are willing to step in and deal with situations like this," said neighbor Curtiss Johnson.

People living around the detonation area were not forced to evacuate and no one was hurt in the detonation.

As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday night crews were still on scene working to finish the job, Borden said they hope to finish by night fall.