Army promises safeguards for controlled Schofield fires
The Army says it will have adequate safeguards in place this week when it clears a 1,100-acre Schofield Barracks training area by burning off weeds and shrubbery.
The "prescribed burn" could take place as early as today, depending on weather conditions, said Stefanie Gardin, Army spokeswoman.
Gardin said these controlled fires have been used regularly over the past few years at Schofield Barracks near the training range known as McCarthy Flats, north of Kolekole and Trimble roads.
The Army plans to use air monitors this week during "prescribed burns."
In a written statement, the Army said the "prescribed burn is part of the U.S. Army Hawaii's ongoing plan to manage and protect range areas, decrease the danger of wildfires and survey for depleted uranium."
Depleted uranium, a byproduct of radioactive enriched uranium, has been used by the U.S. military in armor-piercing munitions.
Two years ago a contractor discovered 15 tail assemblies from spotting rounds made with depleted uranium while clearing an area that will be used by Stryker combat vehicles. However, the Army has said the recovered items had low-level radioactivity and did not pose a health threat.
Last month, Cabrera Services conducted two small test burns, including a 1-acre area where depleted uranium had been found, and air monitors found no depleted uranium in the air during last month's tests.
Army fire and safety specialists, working with the Federal Fire Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will conduct the controlled burn. The fires will be set between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.