Flame-fueled sky lanterns prompt fire concerns

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Traverse City, Mich. The use of flame-fueled sky lanterns in northern Michigan is prompting concern among fire officials.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports sky lanterns, also known as Chinese flying lanterns, have sparked a fire in a pine tree at Traverse City State Park on one lantern's ascent, and another prompted a small garage fire when it prematurely landed.

Some people release the lanterns to symbolize the floating-away of problems and worries. They're usually made of a block of paraffin or cardboard suspended by a wire or bamboo frame. They're lit to heat air to send the lantern aloft, similar to a hot air balloon.

The lanterns should land when the flame goes out, but that always isn't the case. The lanterns are banned in some places but legal in Michigan.

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