Ward and others tracked the meteorites' possible location based on estimates by, among others, scientists with the Meteor Group at the Western University of Ontario in Canada that the fireball likely had exploded in the upper atmosphere above California's Central Valley.
Wasson suspected hundreds of dealers and collectors already have joined the search. He said it was important to recover the meteorites soon because any rain will cause them to degrade, losing their sodium and potassium.
"From my viewpoint as a meteorite researcher," he said, "I'm hopeful some big pieces are found right away."
AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this story from Washington, D.C.
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