Firefighters continue monitoring brush fire sparked by downed Army drone

Firefighters continue monitoring brush fire sparked by downed Army drone
Smoke was visible in the Schofield mountains from the unmanned aircraft. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Firefighters on Thursday morning were still monitoring a brush fire that was sparked after an unmanned aerial vehicle crashed in the mountains above Schofield Barracks.

The U.S. Army said the RQ-7 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System was on a training mission for more than seven hours before it went down around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

No injuries were reported, but the crash triggered a brush fire that could be seen from miles away.

A spokesperson for the Honolulu Fire Department says firefighters were dispatched to the fire. The Army’s Wildland Fire Department, along with federal firefighters, also responded.

Officials with the U.S. Army used a Black Hawk helicopter to assess the situation.

At last check Thursday morning, the fire was about 90 percent contained.

The military said these types of drones can fly for more than eight hours at a distance of 31 miles. It has a 20-foot wingspan and can fly at 126 miles an hour.

These drones have flown over 960,000 hours for the military — 90 percent in combat.

Valued at about $750,000, the drones have been used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The military is still looking into what caused the aircraft to go down.

This story will be updated.

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