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 ©Brisbane and Gold Coast Firewood  .

 ©Brisbane and Gold Coast Firewood  



Ironbark is a slow burning timber but it takes a bit of getting going, so you will need a good kindling base to start with.



Lighting a fire is usually viewed as being an easy task.  

The trouble with that line of thought is that the majority of people  forget a few key steps in the lighting process.  


There are many ways to light your fire, some simple and some not so simple.  


Below are just some of the tips we thought might be helpful to someone new to wood burning.



What should be a nice night by the fire can easily become a smoke filled room.  


A  nasty thought on a  cold winters night ..

Having to open all the windows and doors to let the smoke out of the room is not nice especially as the cold comes inside.


Here is a recommended method that if followed, should help make your fire enjoyable from the start.




If you have a combustion heater or stove check that the damper/flue control is open.                                      


The damper or flue control is a device that controls the amount of air flowing through the flue.


The flue is the passage or duct for smoke in a chimney.  


There should be a lever which you can try moving one way or the other. One direction will close the damper, the other will open it - check to see that the damper is open  if you are unsure of which way is open please look in the booklet that came with your heater or phone the supplier for help.  


If the flue control/damper is closed and the door of the heater is open  you might find that smoke will       pour back into the room.


Check the flue control before you light the fire.  This is much easier to do before lighting a fire in there. Once you have determined that the damper is open, you are ready to get started.




You can use a little scrunched up newspaper (not too much) .. Gently scrunch it and place it on the bottom of the firebox, put some kindling in on top.  


Make it like a tepee stand in the firebox, this will let the air circulate and help ignite the kindling.  


You can add some old pine cones if you have them handy as they light fast and will help ignite the kindling.  Best and easiest way is to buy some firelighters from the supermarket and place one or two at the bottom near the kindling bundle so it will catch.


Once you have the kindling lit, let it burn and get some good hot embers going before you place your Ironbark on top.  If you put too much firewood in too fast you will just smother your fire and end up with a lot of smoke.  


Make sure you leave your flue / damper control open while the firewood catches alight properly.  Once the timber is burning, gently close the flue control down a bit at a time until you get the feel for your heater.  Your timber should  burn nicely with the flue control at about ¼ open .. Just letting enough air circulating to keep it going and not cause a back up of smoke.


Lighting an Open Fire that does not have a flue or chimney control:  Use the same method of stacking your kindling up and using a couple of small firelighters from the supermarket for ease of lighting.  Set your kindling towards the back of your fireplace ... do not put the wood near the front or the smoke will drift out into the house.  Once you have your kindling well alight and hot embers are forming you can put some of the bigger pieces of firewood into the fireplace.  Do not place straight on top of kindling or you may smother the fire.  If you have two smaller pieces of firewood, you could try putting one on each side of the kindling embers.  Just slightly angling part of each peice of wood over the embers for it to catch.




It is really a trial and error test getting the fire going.  Every heater and fireplace is different but in general if you follow some of the ideas here you should end up with a lovely warm fire  for those cool winter nights.


When you are ready to retire for the night you can put your bigger night burners on and let them catch before you close the flue down for the night.  In the morning you should come out to a nice warm house with lots of hot embers to get the day started again.  


Good Luck and Happy Burning.