Dangerous Flares Wash Up on Local Beaches

By Michael Gehlken
|  Thursday, Feb 24, 2011  |  Updated 5:07 PM PDT
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Dangerous Flares Wash Up on Local Beaches

Lisa Rodrigues

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Dangerous military flares from terrorism training exercises are washing up on San Diego’s beaches, and authorities advised people Thursday not to touch them.

The Sheriff’s Encinitas Station has assigned extra patrols to beaches and sent notifications to lifeguards in Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar following two separate flare sightings.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, a device was beached near the 300 block of S. El Portal Street. On Thursday morning, a man found two metal boxes while walking on Beacons Beach.

Bomb/Arson technicians responded to both findings and safely disposed of the items. No one was harmed, but phosphorous in the phosphorous flares can cause severe burns if exposed to the skin.

Some of the flares may not burn all the way and can reignite when exposed to water or air.

A message atop the flare boxes warns in capital letters, "Flammable, signal smoke contains phosophorous. Do not handle."

The Sheriff's Encinitas Station and Arson/Bomb Squad urges anyone who finds a flare on the beach to call 911.

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