- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

REDDING, Calif. (AP) - Authorities in Northern California incinerated a trailer containing a pipe bomb, ammunition and chemicals used to make explosives after evacuating nearby homes and preparing the area to prevent a fire.

The small camp trailer near a college in Redding was set on fire early Thursday morning as part of a plan developed by the sheriff’s bomb squad and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Shasta County sheriff’s officials said. There were five significant explosions, but no reports of injuries or collateral damage.

The trailer belonged to Joseph David Hicks, 42, and investigators are trying to find out why he had stockpiled the chemicals and other items, sheriff’s Sgt. John Greene said. Hicks has not been arrested.

“A preliminary background check shows no suspected affiliation with a subversive or extremist group,” Greene said.

Deputies were called to the property on Saturday after another resident there found what also turned out to be chemicals used to make explosives in a freezer in a storage shed. A search of the property turned up the camper.

Unlike the chemicals in the storage shed, those in the camper had been mixed together, making them volatile, Greene said. Authorities also found fuses and propane canisters in the camper.

Four homes around the rural property were evacuated during the incineration, Greene said. Hicks gave permission for the incineration and has been cooperative, he said.

Shasta County Sheriff’s Office deputies encountered a similar situation in February when they discovered more than 60 pounds of explosives at a Redding home after responding to an explosion that took off a resident’s hand.

Deputies determined the explosives were extremely volatile and evacuated dozens of neighboring homes. They incinerated the home 10 days later.

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