Storm King Mountain Fire of 1999, Did Military Bombs Really Explode?
Does anyone remember the 1999 forest fire in Cornwall?
You really never know what kind of information you are going to come across when you are looking for one thing and you find something you had no idea about. That's exactly what happened to me the other day when I was researching the Town of Cornwall in Orange County.
After finding so many exciting things to love about the once named "best place to raise kids" I came across something that I can't recall ever hearing about. According to Wikipedia back in 1999, a forest fire broke out at the Storm King State Park, and while the fire was burning it caused the detonation of "unexploded ordnance". Wait, what is unexploded ordnance?
What is an Unexploded Ordnance?
It's a fancy way of saying unexploded bombs, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, cluster munition, and other munitions that did not explode when they landed. These devices could still possibly detonate, sometimes decades after they were used or discarded according to Wikipedia.
Did A Bomb Explode in Cornwall?
Yes, while the forest fire was burning at the state park, reports of unexploded ordnance being detonated caused the park to be closed for three years, and according to the U.S. Army's website, once the fires were put out, it was discovered that unexploded ordnance left over from 19th-century training were found. Additional unexploded shells were also found with experts saying they likely originated from a nearby West Point artillery range. That discovery caused the mountain to close for hiking until October 2002.
Many Unexploded Ordnance Discovered in Orange County
Another unexploded ordnance was found while the West Point motor pool on Route 293 was being constructed and back in 2011, the U.S. Army announced that during an investigation, it was discovered that a World War II-era grenade that still had gunpowder inside and other munitions was found behind the West Point Middle School along with a Civil War-era cannonball and a Revolutionary War-era belt buckle.