- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A city fire marshal and a former Kansas House speaker are supporting legislation outlawing sky candles, floating lanterns and other fire-fueled balloons common to Fourth of July celebrations.

Winfield Fire Marshal Dennis Darby told the House Local Government Committee on Tuesday that the devices represent serious fire hazards.

Ex-House Speaker Doug Mays, of Topeka, said sooner or later, a sky candle or lantern will ignite a major grass fire.

No one testified against the bill. The committee took no action.

The bill covers so-called “unmanned aerial luminaries” made of lightweight material attached to a fuel cell or candle. Fire heats the air beneath the balloon or lantern, causing it to rise and float for long distances before the fire goes and it falls to earth.

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