Argentine province bans fiery paper balloons

AP News
Posted: Dec 29, 2011 11:06 AM
Argentine province bans fiery paper balloons

An Argentine province is cracking down on a beloved holiday tradition, banning the kind of paper balloons that wowed audiences of the animated Disney movie "Tangled."

Argentines have long made a tradition of lighting paraffin wax inside paper balloons each Christmas and New Year's Eve. The flying fireballs can be seen rising through the night sky. But what goes up must come down, and in the central province of Cordoba alone, 14 fires were reported this Christmas Eve, most of them blamed on the balloons.

Cordoba Gov. Jose Manuel de la Sota banned the making, sale and use of the balloons Wednesday night. His province has been suffering from drought and is particularly prone to wildfires.