BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana's Fire Marshal orders a ban on the distribution, sale and use of sky lanterns in Louisiana.
According to a news release from the Fire Marshal's office, many people use the lanterns as part of celebrations and ceremonies. But, fire investigators warn of a downside to the beautiful glow the lanterns emit.
The lanterns are made from very thin paper and are carried aloft when air is warmed by an open flame. The combination makes them a fire hazard.
They can travel for miles carried on the wind, so users have no control over where they go and, more importantly, where they land.
The Fire Marshal cites high profile fires caused by the lanterns, including 800 acres of land burned when a sky lantern landed in a wooded area near Myrtle Beach, SC.
Earlier this month, they report sky lanterns blown into a cell phone tower set it on fire on May 2 in Gastonia, NC.
Because of the increasing popularity of the lanterns, the National Association of State Fire Marshals passed a resolution in 2013 calling for a nationwide ban.
In Louisiana, violations of the state ban can result in criminal and/or civil penalties.
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