Fire Officials in MO Worry About Sky Lantern Safety

Some Missouri fire officials are seeking to ban the decorative airborne lights known as sky lanterns.

The Kansas City Star reports ( that, citing fire safety concerns, the Independence Fire Department hopes the City Council will soon prohibit sky lanterns while officials push for a statewide ban through the Missouri fire marshal’s office.

The lanterns often make their appearances around the holiday season. They usually are made of thin paper around a wire or bamboo frame and rise as an attached candle or other heat source warms the air inside. They can be small enough to fit in your hand or more than three feet across and can stay airborne for a half-hour.

Although merchants who sell sky lanterns look at it differently, firefighters see the lanterns as balls of flame turned loose to fly about randomly with the hope that the flames burn out before they drop to earth.

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