The following message comes from the Napa County Sheriff's Office, dated Oct. 9, 2012, 10:31 a.m.
Advisory: There will be one loud explosion in an hour (or so) as some ether is made safe at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga.On October 8,2012 at about 4:15 pm, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office was contacted the Calistoga Fire Department about a case of ether at the Napa County Fairgrounds in the City of Calistoga. Calistoga Fire had been contacted by the Environmental Health Division of Napa County and notified of the material.
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office Hazardous Materials supervisor responded to inspect the materials. The material consisted of a wooden crate containing 96, ¼ pound canisters of ether. The crate is marked that it was packaged in March of 1957.
The ether was part of disaster supplies for a 200 bed hospital, that had been stored at the Napa County Fairgrounds, possibly since the 1950’s.
On October 9, 2012, the Napa County and Sonoma County Hazardous Devices Teams will be rendering the ether safe, by using a counter charge. Residents in the area will hear one loud explosion.
Safety: Ether is flammable. Over time, peroxide may form creating an explosive compound. This makes it much safer to dispose of the ether on site, rather than transporting it for disposal. There are no airborn hazards associated with this process.
There are four homes on School Street that residents will be asked to briefly leave when the ether is rendered safe.