June 25, 2022 5:48 pm




I have been contacted by Ms. Nell Key of the Hardin area that she and her family will be releasing fifteen (15) “Sky Lanterns” from Hwy 834 West near the Methodist Church and from the cemetery on Christmas Eve, December 24th. at approximately 7:pm to 7:30pm. This is a tribute to her late husband on Christmas.

Fortunately, Ms. Key has done this occasion correctly in that she has contacted the Liberty County news outlets as well as our Sheriff’s Department to advise us all of this balloon release. This advance notice will, hopefully, prevent a repeat of the March 22nd. event where, unannounced, as many as seventy-five (75) such lanterns were released thus causing a flood of excited calls to the LCSO regarding “strange red balls of fire in the sky”.

For those of you who may not be aware of how these “sky lanterns” work, they are a paper balloon measuring approximately 4’ high with a small 3” X 4” petro soaked piece of cardboard suspended at the opening at the bottom by thin wires. When the petro soaked card is lit with a match, the resulting heat fills the balloon and the devise rises. Simply put, it is a miniature “hot air balloon” and it’s range is limited.

The long range weather forecast for Christmas indicates a cold front moving in from, naturally, the north with the winds blowing from north to south. It would be ASSUMED that these balloons will drift towards the south until they burn out and settle to the ground. It is doubtful any of them will make it as far as Baytown or Chambers County but if a few should, perhaps they will be pre-warned of their release. It is, however, quite possible, with the darkness setting in, they may be seen over the City of Liberty, Ames or other points south of Hardin.