RANGE FIRE: A crashed defence force drone has sparked a bushfire on the Beecroft Weapons Range, east of Nowra. Photo: Gary Barton, NSW RFSA crashed defence force drone has sparked a bushfire on the Beecroft Weapons Range, east of Nowra.
It is understood the alarm was raised around noon on Mondaywhen the drone, being tested over the range, made what defence has described as “a hard landing”.
It is not known at this stage whether the drone has exploded on impact or if the fire was sparked due to the landing.
The fire is burning in a south easterly direction towards in the coast in a section of the range which has previously been burnt out.The bush is alight off Impact Road at Beecroft Peninsular.
Fire crews have established a safe zone around the fire and are awaiting the arrival of army engineers who will be needed to clear possible unexploded ordnance in the area before crews can enter the drone crash site.
NSW RFS Fires Near Me has the bushfire listed on its website.
The Royal n Navy is currently trialling three different varieties of drones, known as unmanned aerial systems.
The defence spokesperson dismissed social media reportsthat a plane had crashed.
“It is definitely not an aircraft but an unmanned aerial systemand no personnel have been injured in the incident,” the spokesperson said.
Fire fighting crews from Fire and Rescue NSW Nowra, three Rural Fire Service crews and defence personnel are fighting the fire which is in heathland.
Fire and Rescue NSW Hazmat crew from Shellharbour are also on the scene.
Twenty RFS personnel from Culburra Beach, Callala Bay and Currarong and defence members are fighting the blaze.
Firefighters are undertaking a small area of back burning to assist with containing the fire.
No properties are currently under threat.
The bushfire is burning off Impact Road at Beecroft Peninsular, east of Nowra.