Farron calls for action on Chinese lanterns after devastating fire

WESTMORLAND and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has renewed his call for strict controls on the use of Chinese lanterns following the devastating plastics fire in the West Midlands.

Last year, Mr Farron demanded a ban or regulation of the lanterns after farmers in South Lakeland raised concerns about the potential impact on crops and livestock.

They feared barns could catch fire or that cows and sheep could ingest metal parts of the burnt-out lanterns that land in fields.

Following latest incident, Mr Farron described the lanterns as ‘immensely dangerous’.

Investigators have established that a lantern - captured on CCTV falling on to the site - was to blame for the blaze in Smethwick, near Birmingham, which was tackled by 200 firefighters and caused £6m worth of damage.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, Mr Farron said: "There's been a lot of concern in rural areas and the farming community about the impact on livestock, on crops for many years and now we have an incident like this in an urban area.  I think the evidence does point to a ban.”

Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, Dominic Harrison, said: “We support West Midlands Fire Service’s call for a review of legislation regarding the use of fire lanterns.

“As we’ve seen this week, these lanterns can pose a real hazard as once they’re launched there’s no way of controlling the direction they take and there’s no guarantee the fuel will be fully extinguished and cooled when the lantern finally lands.

“I’d also encourage community leaders and members of the public to discourage the use of the lanterns on the basis that they present a fire danger.

“As well as being a fire hazard, they can pose a risk to livestock and even be mistaken for distress flares.

“In Cumbria we have had incidents in the past where fires have been started by lanterns, so I welcome West Midlands Fire Service’s stance and echo their concerns.”

Comments (7)

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3:41pm Tue 2 Jul 13

Blogtrotter says...

Another "slam dunk" for the Farron Gazette.

Perhaps Tim could also share his thoughts on whether he will be taking an inflation busting pay rise in the current economic climate, or why Westmorland and Lonsdale will not be represented in Parliament on Friday at the EU referendum debate.
Another "slam dunk" for the Farron Gazette. Perhaps Tim could also share his thoughts on whether he will be taking an inflation busting pay rise in the current economic climate, or why Westmorland and Lonsdale will not be represented in Parliament on Friday at the EU referendum debate. Blogtrotter
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Tue 2 Jul 13

Stargazeratdawn says...

'Biogtrotter'... If, what you state is true, and you feel so vehemently,..why then are you using this comments section on Chinese lanterns to promote your anti Farron / Gazette opinions? You should be contacting BBC Radio Cumbria with your allegations and moreover, proof. Or hey, why not Granada TV! Indeed, if you are so concerned at some Farron / Gazette collusion,why are you reading the Gazette at all? Surely, you'd be boycotting it? What also irritates me, is that you provide no meaningful comment or solution over the subject matter, Chinese lanterns! Your comment bears no relation to the subject at hand. Chinese lanterns potentially kill animals and ignite rural fires...There 'Biogtrotter' ...I've said it for you...
'Biogtrotter'... If, what you state is true, and you feel so vehemently,..why then are you using this comments section on Chinese lanterns to promote your anti Farron / Gazette opinions? You should be contacting BBC Radio Cumbria with your allegations and moreover, proof. Or hey, why not Granada TV! Indeed, if you are so concerned at some Farron / Gazette collusion,why are you reading the Gazette at all? Surely, you'd be boycotting it? What also irritates me, is that you provide no meaningful comment or solution over the subject matter, Chinese lanterns! Your comment bears no relation to the subject at hand. Chinese lanterns potentially kill animals and ignite rural fires...There 'Biogtrotter' ...I've said it for you... Stargazeratdawn
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Tue 2 Jul 13

Blogtrotter says...

I actually like the WMG, but pray that one day we will get more balanced political coverage, which means putting more challenging questions to Barron Farron of Milnthorpe and seeking responses from the opposition, instead of the usual publicity machine output.

Chinese lanterns are indeed a nuisance. Maybe you could dedicate some of your stargazing time to spotting these potential hazards.
I actually like the WMG, but pray that one day we will get more balanced political coverage, which means putting more challenging questions to Barron Farron of Milnthorpe and seeking responses from the opposition, instead of the usual publicity machine output. Chinese lanterns are indeed a nuisance. Maybe you could dedicate some of your stargazing time to spotting these potential hazards. Blogtrotter
  • Score: 0

7:50am Wed 3 Jul 13

Stargazeratdawn says...

( Biogtrotter)... Nice reply..and I applaud your balanced comments. Good to see someone not answering a comment with attack! You've reminded me that there are some genuine people out there !..
( Biogtrotter)... Nice reply..and I applaud your balanced comments. Good to see someone not answering a comment with attack! You've reminded me that there are some genuine people out there !.. Stargazeratdawn
  • Score: 0

11:44am Wed 3 Jul 13

Blogtrotter says...

Thanks Stargazer.

May the force be with you.

(Also hoping WMG will ask those "big" questions soon.....)
Thanks Stargazer. May the force be with you. (Also hoping WMG will ask those "big" questions soon.....) Blogtrotter
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Wed 3 Jul 13

Ambience says...

Blogtrotter wrote:
Another "slam dunk" for the Farron Gazette.

Perhaps Tim could also share his thoughts on whether he will be taking an inflation busting pay rise in the current economic climate, or why Westmorland and Lonsdale will not be represented in Parliament on Friday at the EU referendum debate.
Westmorland and Lonsdale will not be represented in Parliament on Friday at the EU referendum debate because Saint Tim will be in Keswick taking part in Radio 4's Any Questions.
[quote][p][bold]Blogtrotter[/bold] wrote: Another "slam dunk" for the Farron Gazette. Perhaps Tim could also share his thoughts on whether he will be taking an inflation busting pay rise in the current economic climate, or why Westmorland and Lonsdale will not be represented in Parliament on Friday at the EU referendum debate.[/p][/quote]Westmorland and Lonsdale will not be represented in Parliament on Friday at the EU referendum debate because Saint Tim will be in Keswick taking part in Radio 4's Any Questions. Ambience
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Wed 3 Jul 13

furthersouth says...

how are they going to Police the letting off of a chinese lantern? You should see how many are let off around here at New Years! Ridiculous and most of them are released by tourists who think this is a theme park and don't really give a monkeys. Ban them, lanterns not tourists!
how are they going to Police the letting off of a chinese lantern? You should see how many are let off around here at New Years! Ridiculous and most of them are released by tourists who think this is a theme park and don't really give a monkeys. Ban them, lanterns not tourists! furthersouth
  • Score: 0

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