Sky lantern sets fire to Olympic venue in Rio

The track and roof of the velodrome used in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were damaged after a sky lantern landed on the facility. Much of the roof was heavily damaged and photos from TV network Globo showed a 20 to 30 meter section of the track had burned. Wood from Siberia was used to construct the track surface which made it one of the last venues in the Rio Olympics to be ready.

Sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns, are plastic or paper bags lofted by the heat created by burning fuel at the bottom. After they are launched the perpetrator has no control and the dangerous devices are carried wherever the wind blows. Too often they get caught on trees, roofs, cell phone towers, or land on the ground when the flames are still active and start damaging fires. They are banned in most U.S. states and many countries, including Brazil.

Some areas enact specific laws or regulations prohibiting sky lanterns, but they are banned in any state or city that adopts the 2015 edition of the International Fire Code.

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