SALEM, OR -- Oregon Legislators are considering a ban on sky lanterns. They're similar to paper hot air balloons.
"I describe them quite simply as an untethered flying sterno can," says State Rep. David Gomberg (D-Central Coast). "These are pretty; there’s no argument at all that these are beautiful things. They are pretty. I would argue also that they can be pretty dangerous," he told fellow lawmakers, this week. "They take these flaming devices and they loft them into our trees, onto our shake roofs and into our forests."
Rep. Gomberg says sky lanterns can easily start fires, and they're already banned in Oregon state forests. The new bill would ban them statewide; the maximum fine would be $2,000. There are similar bans in 29 other states.