By state fire marshal

An alert Madras resident stopped a fire the night of July 4, before it even started, according to Jefferson County Fire Chief Brian Huff.

"We had those sky lanterns going off," said Huff. "Sometimes it goes out, but a lot of times it lands on something."

"One of them landed on Sharon Brackett's juniper tree," he said. "She saw it land in her juniper tree and was able to get it before it scorched the tree."

The sky lanterns, or aerial luminaries, are banned by the State Fire Marshal's Office, Huff said. They are no longer considered fireworks, and are prohibited from being released they can cause an unwanted fire.

"They've become really popular and they're not safe," Huff cautioned.

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