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State warns: Sky lanterns shouldn't be part of New Year celebration
Did you celebrate the new year with a paper lantern? Oregon's fire marshal says that could be a big problem.
Starting this year, sky lanterns, a paper sack suspended over a flame, usually from a small candle or other lit device cannot be released into the air in Oregon. Lighting the lanterns, also known as luminaries, mini-hot air balloons or wish lanterns, could land you a $2,000 fine.
"Although they are pretty, sky lanterns are uncontrolled, open-flamed devices that pose an extreme fire hazard to people, property, and the environment" said Oregon Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "Once released you have no control over where they may land. They could end up on someone's rooftop, in a tree, or a pile of debris and cause an unwanted fire."
The lanterns are also banned in places like Germany, Australia and Brazil.