Sky lanterns branded a fire risk and set to be banned by York council
Sky lanterns are set to be banned on City of York Council property.
Also known as Chinese lanterns, they are made of paper and rise into the air by the heat of a small flame.
No incidents involving sky lanterns have been reported in York, the council says, but it wants to reduce the risk.
North Yorkshire County Council has already banned their use and they are also restricted in Germany, Austria, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Spain, Vietnam, Brazil and Australia.
A council report says: “If the lanterns land whilst still alight, there is a clear fire hazard particularly in rural areas in summer, when the ground may be dry.
“There is a risk to wildlife and livestock who can ingest the lantern remains with potentially fatal consequences.”
It says the lanterns can travel more than five miles from where they were released.
Activities that require council approval, such as large events, could have a line in the contract that bans sky lanterns from use. This would be Make It York’s responsibility, the report says.
The report adds: “It has also been recognised that sky lanterns may have cultural significance to differing ethnic groups and nationalities, so York Racial Equality Network has been asked for any information they might have on this so that any communications can be tailored accordingly.”
The ban will be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday.