Residents light paper lanterns in fire-stricken Prairies
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 10:17 AM - The City of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta has received reports of paper lanterns in the sky over the weekend amid parched conditions and extreme fire ratings.
The lanterns, which are typically made of rice paper, contain a candle or wick that causes them to rise when ignited. Experts say they are incredibly dangerous and pose a threat to wildlife and the environment. Animals can become strangled in-flight by the wiring in the lantern, and the uncontrolled flame has been known to spark wildfires.
"Sadly, many people are unaware of the potentially deadly consequences the release of sky lanterns can have for wildlife and other animals," David Bowles, from the RSPCA told the Independent in 2016.
"I think most people who saw the kind of injuries or fatalities we have would think twice. Cattle have died after bits of sky lanterns have fallen into their feed."
The lanterns are not legal for sale or use in the city.
"[Fort Saskatchewan] Fire Department has received reports of Flying or Sky Lanterns being used," the City said in a Twitter statement on Tuesday.
Under Alberta Fire Code they are not acceptable for sale or use in Alberta. At this time of extremely dry conditions, these devices are even more dangerous."
FIRE BANS FOR THE LONG WEEKEND
Dry conditions have led to burn bans across much of southern and eastern Manitoba and parts of Alberta. On Tuesday, Saskatchewan's Ministry of Environment issued a ban on all open fires south of the Churchill River to the U.S. border.
Rain and cooler conditions are expected across the Prairies by the end of the week and are expected to alleviate at least some of the fire risk.
Source: The Independent | Twitter