A farmer has called for a ban on the sale of Chinese lanterns after a fire at his Leicestershire farm.
Farmer John Duffin, of Bruntingthorpe, said several paper lanterns, which float with a small flame inside them, landed on his farm on Sunday evening.
Mr Duffin said his brother Bill was bailing straw when he saw the lanterns and extinguished the subsequent fire.
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) has said the lanterns are a danger to the countryside.
The NFU said Bill Duffin's actions may have saved thousands of pounds worth of damage to his brother's fields.
John Duffin said: "Bill saw the lanterns landing in the dry straw. There seemed to be a lot of them landing in the field and in the next door field of grass, which we'll shortly be cutting for silage.
"We'll have our work cut out to find them now and I'm worried that if we don't find them all, they could get chopped up in the silage and months down the line, the wire pieces could kill a cow by perforating her stomach.
"I really think lanterns should be banned They're just too dangerous."
Leicestershire NFU vice chairman Chris Parker said: "In the driest summer for many years, the lanterns could easily have set off a huge fire causing damage not just to crops, but to wildlife, properties and the environment too.
"We want event managers and the public to think twice about letting off these party 'toys'."
The lanterns, made of paper, wire and bamboo and containing a lit candle, can float for miles before landing.
- 10 August 2010
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