Lighting a Wood Heater or Open Fire You don’t have to be an expert to establish a good fire in a wood heater or fireplace. With a litter care you can light a fire than gives plenty of heat and very litter smoke. The secret is to get a hot fire going as quickly as possible. Use these tips to establish a clean, efficient and hot fire in about 10-15 minutes. 1. Start with a small log on each side of the firebox. 2. Place 3 or 4 loosely crumpled newspaper pages between the logs, with 3 or 4 tightly rolled pages of newspaper on top. 3. Add plenty of small kindling pieces (at least 10) made from dry wood, such as pine or eucalypt thinly split. Dry eucalypt twigs also burn well. 4. Place one loosely crumpled sheet of newspaper on top of the kindling. 5. Light the newspaper at the base of the fire in several places and close the door – making sure the air control is fully open. 6. While the kindling is still burning well (after about 5 minutes), add 2 or 3 small logs in a criss-cross arrangement (allowing plenty of air between the logs). 7. Close the door with the air control still fully open. 8. When the small logs are well alight (about 10 minutes after they were added), add 2 or 3 larger logs. Don’t crush the fire too much – it is important to maintain plenty of flame. Close the door. 9. The air control should be left fully open for at least 15 minutes after adding the larger logs. 10. Check your chimney outside. By now the heater will giving off plenty of heat with no visible smoke. 11. Once the room is warm, the air control can be turned down, but never to the point where the flame disappears. For further information, contact Hastings Council on 6581 8111 or www.hastings.nsw.gov.au , or the NSW Department of Environment & Conservation on 131 111 or www.dec.nsw.gov.au.