Flying lantern issue comes to Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg is the next Essex County community to begin debate on the “flying lantern” issue.

fire logoFlying lanterns, which could be described as a small hot-air balloon that floats through the air powered by a small flame, have already been banned in Kingsville with LaSalle also studying the issue.

Kingsville’s resolution came before Amherstburg town council during last Tuesday night’s meeting.

Councillor Bart DiPasquale wants the issue studied further and has requested that Fire Chief Randy Sinasac return to council with a report on the matter.

DiPasquale believed it’s a “dangerous” issue that should be studied further.

“It’s kind of scary, really,” said DiPasquale.

An article on the Ontario Fire Marshal’s (OFM) website said the flying lanterns “pose a potential fire hazard” and said the hot air produced by the fuel source can lift the lanterns to “extreme heights” and allows it “to drift for long distances until the fuel is depleted.”

The OFM stated on its website that the lanterns are often released in large numbers to generate an impressive visual effect.

“The OFM has learned that, due to their uncontrolled and unpredictable flight path, they can land on trees, building rooftops, or other combustible properties while still ignited and potentially cause a fire. There have also been reports of lantern releases near airports causing lengthy flight delays. Concerns regarding the lanterns have resulted in this product being banned in certain parts of Asia,” the website article states.

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