It seems a bit bizarre at the beginning of autumn to be searching for quality clean burning firewood, given that only a few weeks ago, massive, out-of-control fires were consuming thousands of hectares of Australian forests. However, the summer is over, autumn will soon become winter and those households using wood-burners will need clean-burning and long-lasting firewood to heat their homes.
Burning Wood – What you need to know
If you don’t have a wood-burner, you may not know that within each piece of wood are two completely different fuels that burn in different ways. The first part that burns is the resins and creosotes that the fire’s heat converts to flammable gasses and smoke. These hold most of the pollution content of the wood. The second part is the embers containing the major part of the heat content. It burns easily and produces little if any emissions.
Be Responsible when Sourcing your Timber
Getting the right type of wood is essential for that clean and slow-burning effect that will keep your home cosy on the coldest of winter nights, and this is not as easy as it sounds. If you are collecting your own firewood, please be aware that harvesting dead trees, both standing and fallen, is depriving our remaining wildlife of shelter and a safe habitat. Given the damage the recent fires have caused, taking living trees is environmentally irresponsible.
Here in south east Queensland where we operate our business, the prime wood burning timber is either the red or grey ironbark, an excellent combustion-type firewood, which is a variant of the Eucalyptus. Many people, especially those on large blocks of land, use them as shade trees, so when our team at Dee Gees Bobcats are contracted to do a yard clean-up, we use our bobcats and tippers to load and remove them from the premises.
Choose Your Firewood Carefully
Now that you know what to use for firewood, you should also know what not to use. There have been several distressing cases recently of people who have stoked their fire to keep them warm throughout the night, only to pass away before morning. Salvaged timber that has been painted or treated with preservatives, tar, varnish or other substances give off fumes when burning that will poison the air and anyone breathing it.
The ideal place to source your firewood is from a supplier who uses only plantation timber. This is a sustainable option as some of the best wood-burning timbers are becoming scarce in certain areas of the country. Some councils also allow residents to collect timber from the wood waste dumped at the local tip.