World's tallest bonfire

A bonfire burns in Lustenau, Austria, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Lustenau achieved a new world record in the category tallest bonfire. Its 60.646 meters high bonfire replaced the 47 meter one of Alesund in Norway from 2016 in the Guiness book. It took the local bonfire group three months to build the structure, even custom nails had to be forged to hold the beams together.

BERLIN (AP/Meredith) — An Austrian town has burned what organizers says is the world's tallest bonfire, clocking in at 60.646 meters (198.97 feet).

The local bonfire group in Lustenau, near the Swiss border, took three months to build the structure. It burned down in less than half an hour Saturday evening. The previous record structure was a 47-meter (154.2-foot) bonfire in Alesund, Norway in 2016.

Western Austria has a tradition of bonfires called "Funken," or sparks. It's believed to go back to pagan times when people lit fires to banish winter and welcome the arrival of spring.

The big bonfire drew criticism from members of the Green party and the Austrian Association for the Protection of the Alps, which said it was "the wrong signal" at a time of concern about climate change.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(1) comment

JF Conlon

Speaking of idiots, the news is full of them today. Where's the trumpster?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.