A huge caravan fire in Gloucestershire is believed to have been caused by a sky lantern.
More than 50 caravans and mobile homes at Croft Farm Water Park site in Hardwick were destroyed in the blaze. Some of them contained gas cylinders which exploded.
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service attended the fire and prevented it spreading to a 2000 LPG storage vessel on the farm.
Group commander Mike Cunningham, of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service told Farmers Guardian: “While these lanterns are undoubtedly a popular and beautiful sight, the potential damage they can cause is significant.”
In August this year member David Robinson, from East Sussex, found a Chinese lantern in a barn used to store straw for cattle feed and bedding, right beside residential properties.
He said: “The Chinese lantern landed in my barn which is only about 30ft from the nearest houses. Luckily there wasn’t much straw in there.
“The lantern could have incinerated everything nearby and burned folk to death in their homes. People should not be releasing these sky lanterns. They pose a huge fire risk and they threaten human lives.”
Sky lanterns not only cause fires but pose hazards to livestock and wildlife. Many cases of cattle ingesting the wire from sky lanterns in the field and in forage have been reported and wildlife can get caught up and injured in the wire.