Keep the holiday cheer by not burning your tree or wrapping paper! Learn more with EPA's Burn Wise tips
Season wood outdoors through the summer for at least 6 months before burning it. Properly seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the end grain, and sounds hollow when smacked against another piece of wood. Wood burns best when the moisture content is less than 20 percent. You can purchase a wood moisture meter to test the moisture content of your wood before you burn it. Store wood outdoors, stacked neatly off the ground with the top covered. Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood that has been split properly. Start fires with newspaper and dry kindling or consider having a professional install a natural gas or propane log lighter in your open fireplace. Burn hot fires. To maintain proper airflow, regularly remove ashes from your wood-burning appliance into a metal container with a cover and store outdoors.