I’ve always had to use a Dura Flame log to start a fire in my fireplace, so I was glad to see this tutorial. Many times I don’t have a Dura Flame log and don’t want to run out and buy one when I’m wanting to build a fire…plus, they’re really expensive!
Start by placing some kindling in the center of your fireplace’s grate. Then lay one split-out section of log across each end of the stack of kindling. Note that these pieces of wood are placed with their rear ends closer together than their front ends. Note, too, that the sections of log actually touch the back wall of the fireplace and that the chunks of fuel should not extend more than an inch or so beyond the front of the grate; if they stick out too far, they can “throw” smoke into the room as the fire burns.
Now lay one or two pieces of wood across the two side logs. Push these last chunks of fuel all the way back so the rearmost piece of wood is shoved right up against the rear wall of the fireplace and the other log (if there is one) is crowded against the first.
This is creating a”firebox” that’s entirely open across its front. This allows a great deal of energy to radiate directly into your room as that firebox burns, since there are no large pieces of wood between you and the blaze to block the heat. Besides that, the flame can draw fresh air up through the bottom of the grate quite freely because that grate isn’t covered by tightly packed logs. This creates a good draft that makes your fire burn more efficiently.
A new, improved blaze is easy to light too…just open the damper and check for a draft flowing up the chimney. If the flue isn’t drawing air, twist a sheet or two of newspaper into a tight rope, light it, and hold it up into the vent. This flame will warm the air and cause it to start rising up the chimney. That’s your signal to light the main fire in the usual way with twisted papers. In just a few minutes, you’ll be enjoying all the heat that your fireplace normally puts out, plus a great deal more that ordinarily ‘goes up in smoke’.
Eventually, of course, the top log or logs will burn through in the middle and fall down into your wooden “firebox.” No problem. Just replace them with fresh chunks of wood. And, if you want a hotter blaze, shove some smaller pieces of fuel right into the firebox parallel to its side logs. (You’ll soon note that those side logs do not burn through very readily. Rather, their back ends just seem to “scorch away.” When that happens, you can replace them with new pieces of wood and use the old partially burned chunks of fuel as new “top logs” for the firebox.)
Watch How to Video to see his step by step instructions on how to build a great fire!