With an unprecedentedly snowy winter in Colorado, avalanche mitigation was more essential than ever to keep Coloradan skiers/snowboarders, drivers, and residents safe. According to KDVR, CDOT used 1,500 ordinances this winter and were forced to mitigate zones they haven't touched in decades. However, there is growing concern around the devices that failed to detonate and were labeled as “duds”.
Approximately 22 of 1500 devices failed to explode, and are considered to be “duds”. While CDOT is at work trying to locate the remaining ordinances, summer recreationalists have been warned to keep their eyes peeled. An unexploded ordinance sticks out like a sore thumb. The devices look very similar to small brightly colored torpedos and will certainly feel out of place in the wild.
If you happen to come across one while hiking, keep a safe distance and contact local law enforcement. It’s likely that the device is a dud, but there’s no complete certainly. Just leave it be and let the trained professionals detonate or disarm it. CDOT speculates that they could be located anywhere mitigation was performed—particularly in hiking areas like the Continental Divide and Herman Gulch.
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