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Explosives found during South Obenchain fire not suspicious

A bomb squad was called out to take care of explosives found near Butte Falls during the South Obenchain fire. Did police ever determine whether that was somehow related to arson?

— No name given

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, blasting caps found during the firefight last month in the 9000 block of Butte Falls Highway were not suspicious, but the explosives were very hot to handle.

For those just tuning in, Oregon State Police bomb squad technicians were called Sept. 19 to handle a “large amount of blasting caps” found within the fire scar.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Moran said the blasting caps were possibly left over from a construction project.

“It doesn’t appear there was criminal intent in why those items were where they were,” Moran said.

Blasting caps are often unstable, Moran said, and it’s usually safest to detonate the explosives where they are. In this case, however, “some of them were burned.”

“They felt the risk was a little higher than normal,” Moran said.

The bomb squad detonated the explosives that afternoon with fire personnel on standby, according to Moran.

“It was a planned and controlled situation,” Moran said.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.