A Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad was called out to an orchard in Orondo when the owners found 30 sticks of high-explosive dynamite, detonation cord and a box of blasting caps.
Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal says this is not uncommon, “I wouldn’t say it’s frequent, but it’s often enough that the deputies know what to do.”
Gjesdal noted this particular dynamite was fairly stable, but old dynamite can be dangerous.
“Where it gets kind of dicey is when it’s been there for 10, 20, 30 years and the nitroglycerine in the dynamite starts to crystallize, then it’s very unstable.”
Dynamite is often stored in boxes with sawdust, so Gjesdal says it’s critical to be smart if you come across old dynamite or boxes that might contain it.
“Don’t mess with it at all. Maybe stand back, get a quick picture and get out and call 911. The older the dynamite is, the more unstable it is and of course blasting caps you don’t want to mess with at all.”