Tag Archives: fire safety

My Sesh With tha Senator, Y’all


So the Senator is here! I’m so dang ready to get ta cookin in this beautiful time machine. First, we still need to line the walls with beautiful stamped tin to protect the redwood. Next, we need to install the stovepipe and alter the window to send out said stovepipe. Then we will move in the senator! Finally, I’ll roast a pork tenderloin and some homemade macaroni and four cheese with bacon bits atop paired with a homemade sourdough loaf! Are you salivating?

But before we hash it out with the Senator, I thought I’d detail for you how to bust a fire, and which woods to burn for which stove tasks. Like most tasks in life, building a fire from scratch is about 92% Preparation.  You heard it, preparation people!  You can have the strongest flame in all of the great world and if you have no fuel to keep the flame lit, you’re gonna be cold.

Please note that you should use this method even for your barbeque because charcoal bits that you buy at the store contain toxic materials and should be avoided (the chemicals seep into your food and thus, into your body, yuck).

So, let’s start with how to prepare for a fire.  Since we have access to modern technology (i.e. lighters!) I will save the lesson “how to bust a flint and steel/bow drill fire” for another date, and we’ll use the lighter, thank you.  Okay, so lighter, matches, it doesn’t matter which; check!  Now, gather kindling, that is small twigs the size of tooth picks and pencils.  Keep them together in a pile next to your stove (or barbeque or fire pit).  Then gather sticks a bit bigger, like the size of a ball park hot dog (not including the bun).  And next you will gather slightly bigger sticks, let’s go about the size of your wrist.  And finally you will organize your actual fuel, le firewood (cut from rounds or foraged from the forest–remember dead, down, and detached wood if you’re finding your wood) by size. Oh, I just love systems!  Now, gather the newspaper from yesterday, or dry nesting (ground score some pine needles which are an excellent source for the original ignite of the fire).

Place your newspaper in your stove or BBQ and follow by topping some small twigs.  Light your paper.  Fire!  As the twigs catch, be prepared to add the hot dogs and then the wrists and finally as each makes it way to burnville add the larger until you are burning a great fire with your logs.

Look at this beautiful river front fire Cody and I busted (from flint and steel, no less) two summers ago in northern Washington state!  Remind me to tell you that camping story another time.

When you are prepared, life is so simple!  And fire building is no exception.

I just learned about low income fuel assistance, and you should know about it, too. Might you (or someone you know) be eligible for this wonderful service?

Having trouble keeping your fire going?
Is your wood wet? That could be your problem. Even if it’s dry but it was just recently chopped, it’s “wet” on the inside (sap!); go find dry wood while your newly cut wood dries.
My dad also keeps an old candle near the fireplace because the wax (would you believe it?) stays on fire!