Bomb squad disposes of old dynamite near Rifle
A pair of explosions unnerved some Rifle area residents early Friday afternoon, as a Grand Junction bomb squad detonated some old dynamite, blasting caps and other potentially dangerous items.
According to a press release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, a resident of the Grass Mesa subdivision discovered the explosives while cleaning out his shed Thursday and notified authorities.
The bomb squad assessed the situation that evening, removed two 50-pound boxes of dynamite and decided to return in daylight to dispose of the remaining material, which was deemed too unstable to be moved any great distance. A robot was used to move the explosives from the building to a nearby field, where they were detonated in two successive explosions about 15 minutes apart between 1 and 1:30 p.m.
Caches of old explosives are not unusual in the area, which has a long history of ranching, mining and oil and gas exploration. These explosives can be very dangerous and can detonate simply by a slight movement. They should not be handled by untrained professionals.
If you ever find, or think you have found, some explosives, authorities advise notifying them immediately. Do not handle them yourself, and move back as far as possible until trained personnel can arrive and assess the situation. There is no cost to the property owner or the citizen who uncovers the cache, but you may in fact save a life or prevent serious injury to yourself or someone else by your actions, authorities advised.
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Home values in western Garfield County are way up, according to tax assessors. That will contribute to a higher tax bill next year.