You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout to start a fire in your fireplace. You just have to use a tried and trusted method.
How to Start a Fire – Step by Step
- Make sure the damper is open. It may be located inside the firebox or at the top of the chimney.
- Crumple 2-3 sheets of black and white (not color) newspaper and place them on the fireplace grate.
- Put a handful of tinder on top of the newspaper. Slivers of pine wood, or fatwood make the best tinder.
- Criss-cross 6 or 8 pieces of kindling–dry hardwood, about 1 inch square by 1 foot long, on top of the tinder.
- Twist together two sheets of newspaper, light them and hold them up inside the fireplace to get an upward flow of warm air started.
- Light the newspaper under the kindling in 2-3 places with fatwood, a fireplace lighter, or fireplace matches.
- When the kindling is burning well, add 2-3 pieces of split, seasoned firewood. (Later, add more firewood as needed.)
- Let your fire breathe: leave space between the logs for air to flow.
Since the beginning of time, people have found lighting the communal fire a rewarding experience. As you start a fire in your fireplace, seeing those first flickers of flame grow into a sustainable fire will, no doubt, be rewarding for you, too.