Winds determine a hot air balloons direction. Balloonists can steer a balloon, to a limited extent, by adjusting the balloon’s altitude and making use of different wind speeds and directions. The burners are used to heat the air and make the balloon rise. The pilot may stop “burning” the fuel to stay level before the balloon starts to descend. Venting hot air out the top makes you go down quicker. Pilots follow the wind patterns and adjust their altitude to move the balloon in different directions according to where they, and their passengers, would like to go.