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Explosive found under Crested Butte porch

Brief by Allen Best

Explosives – January 2009 – Colorado Central Magazine

One Crested Butte neighborhood had a brief scare after police learned that an explosive used for avalanche control had been stashed by a renter under the front porch of a house.

“The police were freaking out. They were yelling to stay away from the porch and get out the back of the house,” Ryan Hoynacki told the Crested Butte News. “There must have been six or seven cops there.”

Hoynacki moved into the house recently, and was told by the departing tenant that he had left the explosive under the porch.

Police found a round of explosives such as was used at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort until the 1970s. The explosive was used in a 75-mm recoilless, a cannon-like rifle originally developed as an anti-tank weapon but also used to set off avalanches. It has since been largely replaced by the Avalauncher, which creates a concussive blast of air to trigger avalanches. The older weapon created explosive fragments upon detonation.

Forest Service officials said they thought the recovered explosive was a partial dud.