5 Irish and 2 Americans Arrested for Starting Denia Forest Fire with Chinese Lanterns

chinese lantern denia
Chinese lantern — copyright Moyan Brenn, Creative Commons license


Irish and Americans started Denia forest fire with Chinese lanterns

Sometimes you have to wonder about the stupidity of others, particularly those who go to another country on holiday and seem to leave their brains at home. Such is the case of five Irish people and two Americans who were arrested near Denia, Spain this week for starting a forest fire in a nature reserve. How did they start the fire? By sending up several Chinese lanterns, made of paper.

How did the Denia forest fire start?

According to the Denia fire department, the seven people were eating dinner in a house close to the nature reserve and decided it would be a good idea to send up Chinese lanterns. This in Spain where, in the summer in particular, the ground is often incredibly dry and forest fires start easily.

Luckily, a neighbor saw one of the lanterns falling from the sky into a forested area close to his house and called local police. A fire truck was dispatched almost immediately but, even so, it still took over an hour to put out the flames and dozens of people in the area had to be evacuated in case the fire spread.

The five Irish and two Americans were arrested and charged and have since appeared in a Valencia court. They are currently free on bail awaiting trial.

If you read Spanish, you can find out more about the incident at El Mundo.