This week, the brave journalists of the Las Vegas Sun called attention to an important lack of government oversight: nobody is regulating fake palm trees.

Last Saturday afternoon, a fire ravaged the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel, ripping through the luxury cabanas at the 3,000-room resort. The fire lasted 30 minutes, leaving one person hospitalized.

In the aftermath, investigators surmised that a crop of fake foam palm trees were likely partly responsible for spreading the blaze, possibly ignited by an electrical fire.

Armed with these facts, the Las Vegas Sun has come to a truly horrifying realization: those dastardly fake palm trees were—trigger warning, prepare yourselves—unregulated.

“Fake trees that fueled Cosmoplitan fire aren’t regulated by county codes,” reads Monday’s ominous headline, followed by this breathless report:
The decorative trees that rapidly burned in a fire at one of the Cosmopolitan’s pools this weekend are not regulated by Clark County codes, a county official said today. Ron Lynn, director of the county’s Department of Building and Fire Prevention, told reporters that current codes govern physical structures such as pool decks and cabanas, but plants and outdoor furnishings are not covered.

“These palm trees, which are decorative…by nature, they can be added and subtracted without our awareness,” Lynn told the paper. “As long as typically they maintain the exit provisions, our concerns, or our ability to deal with them, is limited.”

Decorating with foam trees without alerting the county government!? The horror!

Before Las Vegas regulators rush to the scene, it might be helpful to note that the palm trees are certainly not the main culprits here-- Clark County Battalion Chief Leo Durkin told ABC News that the foam material is actually rather difficult to light on fire, even though it burns well once it catches.

A larger problem? The heavy winds Las Vegas experienced that day.

"Had we not had the wind, this might have been a much smaller problem," said Durkin.

The wind—I’ve heard that’s still unregulated! Can someone write up a special for the Las Vegas Sun?