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Sky lantern legality returns to Hoquiam City Council

The City of Hoquiam approved a draft ordinance to ban the use of sky lanterns within city limits in March of this year, but that approval never came to an actual ban.

Following an incident in October when someone within the city lit a homemade lantern that landed in the middle of a street and continued to burn while on the ground, it was discovered that a ban of the firework was never put into place.

On Monday, the City Council once again saw an agenda item that would adjust municipal code to ban their use.


The ordinance was first brought forward earlier this year following complaints from residents and calls to the Hoquiam Fire Department about their use.

A new chapter in the Hoquiam Municipal code would clarify state rules that adopt the International Fire Code to ban the use of any;

“unmanned device with a fuel source that incorporates an open flame in order to make the device airborne”.

 

State RCW prohibits releasing a sky lantern “on or over any forest, brush, range, or grain areas” in the same section that bans discarding a cigarette or discharging  incendiary ammunition.

 

Within the 2015 International Fire Code, it states; “A person shall not release or cause to be released an untethered sky lantern”.

 

The National Association of Fire Marshals has attempted a nationwide ban on the firework, and at least 30 states have imposed all or partial bans on them.

 

This includes Washington.

 

Many other cities have brought additional legislation that prohibit the device.

 

Any person who violates the ordinance would be charged with a misdemeanor.

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