Council's Burnwise Scheme endorses wood suppliers who commit to providing good wood in the community. Council has several Burnwise suppliers who are committed to providing good wood in the community.
Who are the Burnwise suppliers?
- Tokoroa Firewood Ltd (0508 FOR WOOD or 0508 367 9663)
- Balmoral Firewood Supplies (07 886 7550
- Central Bay Firewood (07 886 6387)
- South Waikato Achievement Centre (07 886 8941)
These suppliers have a moisture meter you can use to check how dry the wood is before you buy.
Tokoroa City Lions provide wood by referral only for pensioners. People wishing to gather their own wood from specific forest areas can do so from September to April). Please check the Tokoroa City Lions Facebook for updates.
How can you tell if wood is dry or wet?
- Dry wood has cracks in the end; it weighs less than wet wood. When two dry pieces of wood are hit together there is a loud hollow sound. If you place a very small piece of wood on hot embers, dry wood will catch fire in less than a minute.
- If the wood has been cut within two months of you receiving it, it will be wet and unsuitable for burning. Wet wood is difficult to light and it produces a great deal of smoke and hisses or sizzles when lit.
- Do yourself (and your neighbours) a favour - next time you light your fire, pop outside and look at how much (or how little) smoke you are producing. Another interesting test with older wood burners that still damp down (or bank) is fully open the damper and have a look outside at the smoke; then damp it completely down and pop outside to have a look at the smoke. Chances are you will be surprised at how bad damping down is for the environment and our health!
How smoky is your fire?
The amount and thickness of smoke coming from your flue or chimney is a good indication of how well you are burning fuel and how bad the smoke from your fire is for your health.
Use the scale below to check how well you are operating your wood burner. When you have a fire going, go outside and look at the smoke coming from your chimney.
- If the smoke looks like the picture on the left - congratulations! You are operating your wood burner right.
- If it looks like the two pictures to the right, your wood burner is producing extra smoke that is making our air quality worse - which is not good for our health and well being.
Check out the HOT tips below for better ways to burn.
Better burning HOT tips
- Start the fire with newspaper and kindling (pine cones work well as well) (and firelighters are good too).
- Keep air vent open so that your fire burns brightly.
- Split wood to around 15cm thick.
- Only use larger pieces once the fire is well established.
- Don't overload your wood burner.
- Before winter have your flue/chimney cleaned.
- Avoid turning down your burner overnight; some people call this banking' or damping'; a slow smouldering fire creates more air pollution and clogs your flue. Burning dry wood also reduces the number of times you need to clean your chimney or flue.
And the HOTTEST tip...