Sky lantern starts wildfire in Colorado

Report says three sky lanterns were released — one started a fire.

sky lanterns banned states

There is a report that a sky lantern started a wildfire in Colorado on Saturday, March 12. A writer on said that between 11:00 and 11:45 p.m. one of three of the devices that were released landed in vegetation and started a small brush fire. It occurred near Pine Grove, which is another name for Pine, Colorado. (map)

If this had happened in August rather than March, we might be writing a different story. The town is at 6,700 feet elevation, so there’s a good chance that the fuels are still somewhat wet or there could be snow. Nearby ridges are at 7,000 to 8,000 feet.

Sky lanterns were blamed for starting other fires just last month. One near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin burned 15 acres and another is thought to have ignited a four-plex structure in Santa Rosa, California.

Sky lanterns are banned statewide in 30 states, but not in Colorado.

These devices are small plastic or paper-covered hot air balloons powered by an open flame. They can travel uncontrolled for more than a mile, sometimes landing while the fire is still burning.

Articles on Wildfire Today tagged sky lantern.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Allen.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

3 thoughts on “Sky lantern starts wildfire in Colorado”

  1. Map needs to show the Cornhusker state as another state that bans sky lanterns. Nebraska Governor signed the law this session.

  2. I truly hate those things . Nothing like sitting on your deck on
    a warm early September evening and watching your neighbors
    kid light one of those things and watch it almost land in your
    40 year old Doug Fir . He found out it was illegal from the
    Fire Dept.
    and Me..
    This is La Grande, Oregon-last year..
    I wasn’t as nice as the FD, either.

  3. Embarrassed and ashamed to say that Montana doesn’t ban Sky Lanterns, exploding targets or private drones flying near wildfires. Some of our legislators want to change our motto to “the last stupidest place” when it comes to wildfire prevention and safety.

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