Got wood? Too late to warm with a cord

news-firewoodIf you don't have it already, you're probably out of luck.

During most Charlottesville winters, a fireplace is a pleasant but unnecessary home accessory that provides cozy warmth–- and maybe a little romantic ambiance. But this year, some families who suddenly lost power began looking to their hearths as a primary heat source. The problem is it's too late to buy firewood. At least in any significant quantity.

"Normally, we have some to keep people going," says William Frye of Ruckersville based Frye's Firewood. "This hasn't been most years."

Like most firewood sellers, Frye has regular customers who stock up in the fall. Since the February 5-6 storm, which knocked out power to thousands of area homes, Frye says his phone's been ringing with more requests than he can handle.

"I got wood that I can't really sell because I gotta keep it for my regular customers," he says. "That's the only fair way to do it."

Frye–- noting that fireplace wood needs to be cut and then dried for six to twelve months for best burning– says he does still have some woodstove wood, which can be wetter, but won't burn well in fireplaces.

Several firewood providers listed online and in phonebooks begged to keep their names kept out of this story–- because of the futile phone calls.

Smitty's Tree Service in Front Royal finds itself swamped with such interest that at the time of a reporter's call on Monday, February 8, co-owner Susan Smith said she and her husband, so busy with calls for wood and driveway plowing (another service they offer), that she hadn't slept in 72 hours

"We don't have any for sale at the moment," says Smith. "It'll probably be another four to five days before we can unbury it."

And Smith warns desperate Charlottesvillians that her company–- located over an hour to the northwest–- lies outside the area she's legally allowed to provide wood due to Forestry Department concerns about spreading invasive tree disease and insects.

So for this year, powerless families may remain heatless if they were hoping to buy firewood, as mid-winter, Smith notes, is not the right time to buy firewood.

Smith recommends that people stock enough each fall to last through one or two power outages. And an emergency stockpile–- which will last for years if kept dry–- is an empowering idea this fall, when supplies are replenished.

Read more on: Firewoodpower outagesnow


Remember the commercial natural gas used to run down playing electricity and in one they had old man "wood" retired, floating in a pool. Looks like "wood" gets another turn at bat. Good to always have wood on the pine!

As one of Mr. Fryes old customers I can attest to his reliability and honesty

A kerosene heater, properly burned, makes some decent heat and you can put it where you want it.

There are really very few suppliers of properly seasoned wood.

True, which is a good argument for having a decent rain-proof woodshed in which you can store and season your wood months before the heating season. There's no such thing as "woodstove wood, which can be wetter"--right, if you like to curse and battle your smoke detector (or more likely, unplug it) while getting your fire started. I've been there, never going back. This year I'm burning wood that has been in the shed since spring; I can get a blazing fire going in the stove with a bit of kindling and fatwood, or just with a few small split sticks and a couple chunks of commercial firestarter.


Buying firewood in bundles at the grocery store isn't the most economical way to go, but it's better than freezing to death. Whole Foods has them for sale, out in front.

Good thing we're stocked up with old Holiday trees here at the Kringles'.

I happen to have some seasoned Gum in the woodstove rit now blazin away at 600 degrees. I even cooked on top of my woodstove on Saturday when the power was out. With neutral environmental effect in a rural setting zero moving parts and good ole warmness you can't beat a woodstove. Provided you have good firewood. Good story informative and relevant without any celeb bs. Thanks.

He said, "wood."

Craigslist is great source for seemingly honest, hard-working, wood splitters, who won't think twice about dumping absolutely green, unburnable wood in your yard. ("grandma's forced producks, G'ville)

There are really very few suppliers of properly seasoned wood.