YouTube videos show the increasing popularity of the practice of shooting exploding firearm targets.
It has become so popular in the Kenefick area of Liberty County that panicked residents have contacted the sheriff's office about a half-dozen incidents over the past few days.
Officials said people have reported explosions that rattle windows and shake walls.
The town's volunteer fire chief heard one explosion and then took calls from concerned friends and fellow firefighters.
"It was about a six-mile radius, a very large explosion," said Chief Daryl McWhorter. "Our main concern is people using this for an exploding target of some sort that somebody is going to get hurt with it."
The product is mixed to create an explosion is called Tannerite, a combination of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. It's sold at sporting good stores across the Houston area.
In a safety advisory sent to residents, Liberty County's sheriff cited unconfirmed reports that some are using the exploding devices to blast beaver dams from creeks and others placing gasoline containers next to the exploding target so a fire will result when the target is hit. That's a growing trend being highlighted on YouTube as well.
"If not used properly, these devices could certainly be a health hazard for anyone around them or using them," said Captain Ken DeFoor of the Liberty County Sheriff's Office.