Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

Del Norte County Sheriff’s investigators say they are continuing to look for the person or persons responsible for leaving an improvised explosive device (IED) under a stump on the beach north of Crescent City.

Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Steven said that at about 1:30 Wednesday afternoon, a caller reported finding an unknown device below a large stump on the beach at the end of Kellogg Way.

The device was described as a small fire extinguisher with the valve and nozzle removed and a hole drilled in the side. Humboldt County’s Explosives Ordnance Disposal team was called to the area, which was cordoned off by law enforcement personnel. State Parks and California Highway Patrol officers were notified of the operation.

Steven said the team came out and examined the device, determining it was an IED filled with explosive materials. The inside of the extinguisher was filled with what investigators believe was black powder, fireworks powder, or a mixture of both, he said.

The EOD team detonated and disabled the device in place.

Steven said much of the device remained intact.

“We are diligently inspecting the parts,” he said. “A lot of useable parts remained intact and we are going to try to lift fingerprints and/or DNA evidence from it.”

Steven speculated the device may have been abandoned on the popular beach after it failed to explode as intended.

“To leave it out there and walk away is just wrong,” he said.

The operation took coordination by several agencies, and was concluded after 9 p.m., Steven said.