Hot air lanterns join fireworks on prohibited list

Sky lanterns have joined fireworks and other fun stuff on the prohibited list. The Ministerio de Salud prohibited the devices via a decree.

That action was applauded by fire fighters, who blamed the lanterns for a fire affecting three homes in Purral de Goicoechea early Jan. 1.

The devices, which can be found online for about $10 are called globos del deseo in Spanish. There is a piece of paraffin that, when ignited, provides the hot air for the paper balloon to rise in the air.

The Cuerpo de Bomberos said it lobbied heavily for the restriction, which was contained in a decree published Monday. A typical device can stay aloft for 15 minutes or more out of control of whoever launched it.

The decree prohibits the sale, manufacture or use of the lanterns. Of course, there are criminal restrictions on fireworks, but the holiday skies are filled with rockets and the informal use of fireworks is frequent.

Sky lanterns make a great display.

Sky lanterns make a great display.

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