In 2008 local firefighters responded to five chimney fires, and officers inspected 32 wood stove installations. Of those 24 passed the initial test, with the remainder required to make changes to bring the installations up to code.

There is no question that a wood stove can save a considerable amount of money on the family heating bill over the course of a winter. An added benefit of a wood stove is that the wood gathering can be a family affair and is good exercise. The downside is that not all of us take proper care of our chimney over the wood burning season. The recommendation is to clean the creosite from the chimney regularly to prevent that flammable buildup. Fire Chief Matt Treit also advises that how you burn wood in the stove may also be a factor, and says not to rely on products that state that their use will control the problem.

New technology offers advanced clean burning wood stoves that use 33% less wood, do not have a cresote buildup virtually elimanating chimney fires. Information on the Operation Burn Clean program, and on the Renewing an Old Flame campaign can be found at www.wood-heat.com