SOLVANG, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Bomb Squad, along with Vandenberg's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team, retrieved a large, military ordnance from downtown Solvang around 1:30 Thursday morning, and took it to a remote location where it was destroyed.
The early morning explosion ended a ten hour ordeal that started Wednesday afternoon around 3:30 when a concerned resident spotted the device lying in some trash in an alley behind several businesses along the 1600 block of Copenhagen Drive.
Sheriff's deputies put up a perimeter, set up a command post at the Veteran's Memorial Hall, and called in the bomb squad.
By Wednesday night, a reverse 911 call was issued to at least 1,400 phone lines warning residents to evacuate their homes.
As many as 700 people were evacuated, which included guests from several hotels in the area.
The bomb squad and EOD team determined that the military ordnance was a 105 millimeter ammunition shell, about four inches in diameter and 18 inches long, with the fusing system still intact.
The ordnance appeared to be old and had been fired at some point, but because the fusing system was still in place, the device was considered potentially unstable and able to cause widespread damage if it exploded.
As of early Thursday afternoon, sheriff's officials say it is unknown where the ordnance came from, and while these types of devices aren't meant for public use, they can be purchased on-line.
If you or someone you know has a military ordnance, contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office at 681-4100.25539900