SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) The Santa Cruz Fire Department said it has learned that sky lanterns were recently used at one of the local beaches, and now they are warning community members about the dangers that come with them.
The paper lanterns usually contain a small candle or fuel cell with a waxy flammable material, and when the inside of the lantern heats up, the air density in the lantern lowers and the lantern can rise in the air.
The flame can pose a safety hazard because the lanterns can move through the air and land in areas that can catch fire, and the department warns against assuming they will fly out to sea. They shared an example from several years ago when sky lanterns landed in trees around nearby homes.
Use of the lanterns is not allowed in Santa Cruz County and around the State of California.