Burning Do's and Don'ts



  • 'Lay the fire' in a half cone arrangement against the back wall of a kiva to improve performance and reduce the risk of smoke entering the room.
  • Use tinder (very flammable e.g. dry pine cone, Fatwood [no more than 2 pieces], dryer lint, lightly crumpled newspaper [2 full sheets]) underneath as many pieces of 'kindling' (wood not more than 1-2 inches thick) as necessary to build a half 'tipi' looking structure.
  • 'Prime the flue' by making sure the damper is open, rolling a full sheet of newspaper diagonally into an tube, lighting one end on fire and holding the lit end up in the fireplace 'throat" near the damper and letting it burn at least 2/3 of the way before lighting the carefully constructed 'tipi'.
  • Place the screen in front of the fireplace 'mouth' when fire is burning.
  • Use small (no more than 3 inches thick) pieces of wood to 'feed the fire' by replicating the half cone technique.

    Do NOT:

  • Use accelerants of any type.
  • Burn pizza boxes, other cardboard food containers or glossy paper.
  • Leave the fire unattended.
  • Burn any type of non-cordwood, like pallets or fencing
  • Bank the fire overnight.
  • Use water to extinguish the fire.