As firewood supplies diminish, people turn to kilns

5:56 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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BRISTOL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Throughout Maine, thousands of people are working to get their wood in. They may wish they'd started a lot sooner. Firewood dealers say demand is higher than ever, and so are prices. For many, its still better than burning oil.

Paul Blomquist, a firewood dealer, said, "And like I say, we've been turning away at least two thirds of the calls we've been getting."

Paul Blomquist says other dealers are just as busy, as Mainers go back to their roots to cope with high oil prices. Seasoned wood that's been cut and split for months is what most everyone wants. Paul says that since demand has been so high there isn't much left.

Blomquist remarked, "I don't want to panic any customers who have seasoned wood coming and see that pile and say, how is he gonna get my wood? We do have wood... it's spoken for. All our seasoned wood is spoken for and has been for a while."

Peter Lammert of the Maine Forest Service says it's that way in many parts of the state. If people haven't ordered wood yet, they could be in for a long search.

But Blomquist and a few other dealers suggest kiln dried firewood. Blomquist's home-built kiln can take wood from green to dry in just four or five days.

But no firewood is cheap any more. Peter Lammert says green wood is going for $250 a cord. Blomquist says regular seasoned wood is $300, and kiln dried is $350.

Peter Lammert of the Forest Service says he'd like to see more wood dealers build kilns, or special drying sheds to make sure there's enough good wood for everyone who needs it.

The Maine Forest Service has a lot of information and tips on buying, stacking and drying firewood. You can visit their website by clicking on the related link on the right side of this page.

This story was originally posted September 22, 2008.


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