Best Way to Stack Firewood in Fireplace- Tips for Lighting Fire in a Fireplace

Best way to stack firewood in the fireplace, A fireplace is a brilliant idea for warming the house during cold weather.

But you must know how to stack firewood in it for a good fire.

In this article, we’re looking to highlight the best way to stack firewood in a fireplace and other details about it. Let’s get started. 

Considerations When Stacking firewood in your fireplace

Well-stacked firewood in a fireplace. 

Well-stacked firewood in a fireplace. 

The following are the key aspects you must keep in check when stacking firewood in the fireplace to ensure a good quality fire. 


You must stack firewood in a system that allows optimal burning. Thus, avoid placing it in a tight formation as this bars airflow between the firewood.

An insufficient supply of oxygen (the gas that supports combustion) will reduce the burning efficiency of the firewood. 

Moreover, it curtails the ability of the fire to spread from one wood to the other. In turn, this makes limits the fire quality. 


If you don’t stack the firewood systematically, it will likely crumble, curtailing its burning efficiency.

It poses a danger since when a burning log falls off, it can even burn you or something near the fireplace. 

Hence, you must ensure that the wood stack is stable enough not to disintegrate as burning continues. 


Fire can be fatal if it spreads out of the fireplace. Hence when stacking wood into the stove, you must be cautious to ensure it burns safely.

Again, also ensure that you carefully apply fuel to ensure it remains within the fireplace. 

Otherwise, if you apply it carelessly, it can prompt the spread of fire outside the fireplace, which is unsafe. 

Steps to Stack Firewood in a Traditional Fireplace

A burning fireplace. 

A burning fireplace. 

  1. Lay your firestarter material at the base of the fireplace. You can use any ideal firestarter for this step, such as old newspapers. Also, if you’re using a grate, add it in this step ( below the firestarter). 
  2. Next, lay the kindling material (usually small sticks) on your firestarter. Arrange them in a crisscross style to ensure they catch fire easily. 
  3. Put logs on top of the kindling. Again, you should arrange them in the crisscross formation. 
  4. Light the fire. 

Steps to Stack Firewood in a Top-down Fireplace

A burning fireplace. 

Firewood in a fireplace. 

  1. In this technique, you should start by arranging the large logs at the bottom of the fireplace. 
  2. Next, lay the small logs above the large logs. Ideally, set them perpendicular to the larger logs beneath to increase the airflow. 
  3. On top of the small logs, arrange the kindling material in a crisscross formation. 
  4. Lastly, add the firestarter on top, then light the fire. 

Notably, the method is the opposite of stacking firewood in the conventional fireplace. Also, for the best results in either of the techniques, you must use well-dried firewood. 

How to Build a Fire in a Fireplace?

Fire burning in an outdoor fireplace

Fire burning in an outdoor fireplace…

Building a good fire requires some tact, as we’ll outline below. First, look at the materials to assemble before getting the fire going. 

Materials You Need

Key Steps to Build a Fire

A well-aerated burning fireplace. 

A well-aerated burning fireplace. 

Check if the Chimney/Damper is Clear

A brick chimney. 

A brick chimney. 

Start by opening the damper to ensure fluid airflow. You should also check if there’s some creosote buildup in the chimney, as it will inhibit good airflow. 

Set the Firewood

  • Start by setting up the kindling and the firestarter on the grate. You can purchase the ideal kindling material from the local store or source some outside.
  • Beware of using sappy (wet) kindling, as it will not catch fire. 
  • Next, set up the firewood perpendicular to the kindling material. You should ensure one wood forms a v-shape with the other. 
  • Then, add another layer of seasoned wood on top of the first. Set up the second layer across the first again to maximize airflow and ensure it catches fire easily. 

Heat the Flue

Often, the inner area of the chimney gets cold (especially after long periods of no use). So before starting a fire, consider warming it up.

Light a newspaper and hold it on the flue for some time (preferably 10 seconds). 

Once you’re satisfied that your flue is warm enough, it’s time to start the fire. 

Ignite your Kindling

Kindling Material. 

Kindling Material. 

The kindling provides a good starting point for a fire.

Hence, light another newspaper and use it to light up the kindling. You can add some newspapers to the kindling to hasten the lighting process. 

Then, allow the larger logs to catch fire; everything is now well. 

Fire Safety Tips 

  • As a safety precaution, you must never leave an unattended fire and go to sleep. 
  • Also, using a fireplace screen to shield yourself from the fire and sparking firewood is essential. 


In a nutshell, we’ve covered the basics of stacking firewood in the fireplace to maximize the burning rate while staying safe. So, follow our tips, and you’ll have a quality fire.

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