Spring is the time to harvest firewood

By Beverley J. Anderson

Start with good fuel.

  • Mar. 25, 2011 9:00 a.m.

By Beverley J. Anderson

Start with good fuel.

• Firewood that is cut, split and stacked properly in the spring will be ready the following winter.

• Wood should be dried outside in an open shed. When properly seasoned, each piece will have deep cracks in its end grain and will tend to have a dark grey colour.

• For safe and efficient wood heating, use seasoned (dry) wood. Moisture in fresh cut can range from 35 to 70 per cent. Well-seasoned wood has less than 20 per cent water.

The higher the moisture content, the more energy is consumed heating and boiling the moisture rather than burning the wood. Energy is wasted and the result can be a smoky fire that is slow to start and difficult to keep going.

Smoky fires also add more particulate matter into our airshed, which is our primary health concern in the Cariboo.

• Never burn household garbage, painted or treated wood, plastics, or rubber.

Hot Tip number 1: Test your wood with a moisture meter to ensure it is ready to burn.

Hot Tip number 2: There is still time to change out your old belching woodstove and save big: $300 cash to the first 25 families who live within the boundaries of the Williams Lake airshed; an additional $250 from the province; in-store discounts up to $300 at participating retailers; both the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District are rebating the cost of their permit fees for installation of your new woodstoves;  plus, all those who upgrade within the Williams Lake airshed have a chance to win a truck full of dry firewood or a tonne of pellets donated by Pinnacle Pellet or $150 cash to go toward your gas bill.

Phone 1-877-992-5833 to sign up for the program or visit www.breatheasywilliamslake.org to find out more.

Beverley J. Anderson is the Williams Lake co-ordinator for the Cariboo Woodstove Change-Out program.