Guidance on 'chinese lanterns' to be reviewed as "a matter of urgency" after Guisborough fire

A fire in Guisborough started when a flying lantern, similiar to this one, hit a barn Credit: PA

Redcar and Cleveland Council says the guidance on 'chinese lanterns' will be looked into as "a matter of urgency".

It comes after a fire in Guisborough, when a flying lantern hit a barn and started a fire.

The flames were quickly extinguished by farm workers, stopping them from spreading to a nearby stable block containing ten horses.

A motion by Councillor Anne Watts, member for Belmont ward, was unanimously passed at a meeting of the local authority last week.

Council leader Mary Lanigan said she had been inundated with e-mails on the topic and said existing measures "did not have enough teeth".

She said: "We will take this forward with a matter of urgency with officers and get some enforcement in place."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) advises against their use, but there is no national legislation.

As well as the fire risks, the RSPCA charity says they can be ingested by animals, who also face the risk of becoming entangled within them.

Cllr Watts said: "We are seeing more and more of these things and we have predominantly a rural hinterland in our county.

"We should be taking an in-depth view on this and hopefully putting a complete stop to it."

Councillor Mary Ovens, a cabinet member, said: "They present a hazard to livestock, agriculture, camping activities and hazardous materials and properties and we have been very fortunate to have not had serious incidents, but you never know when it could happen.

"I would welcome a review of measures that could be taken and some national regulation would be good."

Labour group leader Councillor Carl Quartermain added: "I am completely in favour.

"Anything that has a naked flame and is allowed to float off and be projected into the air for miles around should be banned.

"They are dangerous to animals and wildlife, and harmful to the environment in general.

"It is a no-brainer that we should be doing away with these."