Well - we WERE prepared.
Hol had a chimney fire tonight. Buck & I ran our big extinguisher down... and when I got the dogs back in my house, grabbed the other two smaller extinguishers to put out the reignition. It would've been 20 mins for the fire company to get here - if they could even find the place. And by then, it would've been a real FIRE. She's used to managing fire, from her work. So, she was moving at the speed of light when we got there.
We have to make a parts run tomorrow, so extinguishers will get repaced and those fire out logs will be purchased. Chimney pipe needs inspecting & cleaning too, before she lights the stove again. It's REAL windy tonight, so that probably added to the speed it took off.
Dogs freak out at the smoke alarms; I passed Beeb on the way down the drive and knew he'd head for my house, and she passed Knuckles to me, to put in ranger to keep him out the wind. Pitbulls don't have much coat; and he's white & pink... even thinner.
Just a word or three on wood stoves and wood heat.
In my experience, I have found tis better to have a slightly undersized stove and run it a tad hot.
Lots of folks buy bigger stoves then they need for the cubic feet they are trying to heat.
Thinking bigger is better.
Then they typically sit and simmer closed way down most of the time,
because they toss out too much heat if you run them more open.
The slow burn allows for the build up of more creosote.
Larger stoves running at near idle will require more frequent chimney cleanings.
The second part is wood choice and curing.
Personally I believe all wood should sit split, covered, and exposed to moving air for at least one full year, not cut in the summer and burned in the winter. 2 or more years for Oak.
Think covered, slotted, wood shed with space between the rows. Air flow is critical.
Physics tells us water doesn't burn. wood with a high moisture content, will dirty a stove and chimney
much faster than dry wood will.
I have people tell me their outdoor wood furnaces get more heat out of wet wood.
I call BS. It takes heat (BTUs) to boil off the water. Best to let the sun and the wind do that.
There are only so many BTUs in any given chunk of wood.
The water must be boiled off before the wood can burn.
The choice of wood can dictate chimney cleaning intervals.
My hands down favorite fire wood choice for wood stoves is Beech.
I seasons fairly fast, has a very low resin content, it burns hot and leaves little ash.
Ash is another great choice, especially if you are trying to cheat on the curing times
Red or White Oak is great wood and high on the BTU per ton scale.
But it takes at least 2 years of proper seasoning to get it ready to burn.
Cherry burns hot, but it contains a lot of resin and will dirty your chimney sooner.
Same goes for white and red pine,
Birch is like Cherry, it burns decent but carries a lot of chimney plugging resins.
Tamarack (Larch) burns fairly clean, but it doesn't offer the nearly the BTUs per ton hardwoods do.
Also any soft wood will leave you searching for coals to rekindle in the morning. They usually burn down to nothing.
I believe chimneys should be cleaned twice per season, no exceptions,
once at the beginning, once about half way through the winter.
It can be a pain, but way less so than even a small chimney fire.
Or worse yet, standing out in the yard (if you're lucky) in the middle of the night in your skivvies,
watching your house burn to the ground.
The info above is based on a lifetime of wood stove use, in northern New York and now northern Michigan experience.
There may be many trees better or worse than those I listed. these are just what I have experience with.
The same goes for curing (seasoning) times. Wood in California will cure up faster than wood in the Adirondacks.
Sunny days and low humidity accelerate the process quite a bit.
Here and in the 'Dacks the humidity is ridiculously high much of the time.
Wood shed location is also a factor. a south facing open front with a generous roof coverage and slotted back and sides is about the best. I like to stack the wood in spaced row parallel to the rays of the sun.
This allows the entire shed to get hammered by the suns rays. plus as the wood heats the air rises causing a good amount of circulation and there by drying.
Another cool option if you have extra labor,
or don't have a proper shed is the Holz hausen
More advanced and entertaining version,
I have built several of these over the years and they work extremely well.
That is all,