Ulster County bans sky lanterns
William J. Kemble is reporting in the Daily Freeman Ulster County lawmakers last week adopted a law that prohibits the sale or use of sky lanterns as a fire and safety hazard. Sky lanterns resemble an upside down bag and stand approximately one to two feet tall and are designed to float using a candle to produce hot air. The devices are also known as candle kites, Chinese lanterns, wish lanterns and sky candles, and are often launched to commemorate holidays, funerals and weddings. “The Ulster County Legislature finds that the release of these devices creates a serious fire and safety hazard because of the potential to start an unintended fire on or off the property from where they are released and these devices can travel significant distances from the point of release,” the lawmakers wrote. Violations of the law would result in a $250 fine or 15 days in jail, or both for a first offense. Subsequent offenses could result in up to a year imprisonment. Ulster County Emergency Management on Fri., Aug. 19, said there have not be any reports of a fire being started as the result of a sky lantern. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.