SOLVANG (AP) -- California authorities say the military ordnance that prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people in the tourist town of Solvang was a used shell but it still was potentially dangerous.

Between 500 and 700 homes and businesses were evacuated Wednesday after the 105 mm shell was discovered amid trash in an alley.

Santa Barbara County sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover says the 18-inch-long shell had been fired but still had its fuse, making it potentially unstable. She says it could have caused widespread damage if it had exploded.

The evacuation ended early Thursday after bomb squads took the shell away and blew it up.

Hoover says it's unclear where the shell came from.

Solvang is a city of about 5,000 known for Danish themes that reflect its founders.