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The San Diego Sheriff’s Bomb Squad hosted a fireworks disposal demonstration on the morning of June 29 at their bomb disposal range in the Rancho San Diego.

Two separate blasts were set off beginning at 9 a.m. The first, about 20 pounds of explosives that had originated in Mexico, sent a large cloud of dust and gravel into the air, pelting hardhat-clad observers over 100 feet away.

The second explosion contained about a hundred pounds of sparklers and other items manufactured predominantly in China; this blast had less percussive effect, but colorful sparks shot in all directions for several minutes as flames consumed the mound of contraband. The pile continued to smolder as the demonstration moved away from the blast area.

“It should cook probably for a good part of the morning,” explained a sheriff’s crewmember. Burn Institute assistant executive director Diane Sutherland pointed out that sparklers can burn as hot as 1800 degrees, roughly the equivalent of an acetylene blowtorch.

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