Sky lantern behind Vernon grass fire

Big fines associated with use of prohibited sky lanterns

A sky lantern was behind a grass fire doused by Vernon Fire and Rescue on April 12, 2020. (City of Vernon)

A sky lantern was behind a grass fire doused by Vernon Fire and Rescue on April 12, 2020. (City of Vernon)

A sky lantern was deemed the cause of a grass fire in a ravine near Copper Mountain Court over the Easter long weekend, the City of Vernon said.

On April 12, around 9:30 p.m., firefighters were called to a grass fire. Upon arrival, the 20-by-30-foot fire was quickly extinguished.

Multiple homes were within a short distance of the fire.

“The risk posed by these lanterns is obvious,” said deputy fire Chief Scott Hemstad. “Once released, they fly away and can land on a balcony, roofing, field or in the forest.”

Using sky lanterns with the City of Vernon is strictly prohibited. Once lit, they can travel over two kilometres and have been the cause of large fires in both urban and wildland settings.

“The enjoyment of watching a lantern pales in comparison to the risk to the community,” he said.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services is reminding residents these lanterns are prohibited within the city and fines can start at $500 per lantern.

If a person is found responsible for starting a fire, they may be subject to much larger fines.

READ MORE: Vernon bike thief strikes East Hill

READ MORE: North end of Okanagan Rail Trail open

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