The state Wildlife Commission this week will discuss adding new firepower to Colorado’s arsenal of lethal measures to wipe out prairie dogs and other burrowing creatures: explosive gases.

Under a proposal by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, explosive gases – such as a mix of oxygen and propane – could be injected and then ignited inside the burrows of prairie dogs, ground squirrels, gophers and marmots.

Wildlife officials say they’ve been approached by organic-produce growers interested in using the gases, which deliver a powerful concussive force that kills the animals and collapses their tunnels.

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"This is a way for them to avoid using toxic substances to help them remain certified as organic," said Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Tim Holeman. "It’s a new tool for them."

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