The Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association wants flying lanterns banned in Ontario because they think they are a fire hazard.

The lanterns work like a miniature hot air balloon. They float into the sky when a waxy flammable material is burned by an open flame in the bottom of the lantern.

Susan McLeod, the association's executive director, said the association knows of one incident last year in which a lantern landed on the property of a cottage owner and scorched the wall of a building.  

"The new and improved flying lantern model from this summer is now able to fly 15 to 20 minutes," she said. "Which can take it miles into the forest, miles down the lake."

McLeod added the group will work with the communities of Kenora and Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls to see if they will consider a ban on the lanterns. The organization also lobby the province.

'You would be held responsible'

The Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario states that if a flying lantern starts a forest fire, the person who released the lantern may have to pay to put out the fire.

"If your flying lantern or fireworks did start a forest fire," said Heather Pridham, a fire information officer with the Ministry of Natural Resoures, "and you were found guilty of starting that forest fire, you would be held responsible for the costs associated with putting that fire out."