Environmental Health

Contact Us

  • Phone: 970-328-9813
    Fax: 970-328-8788

    Environmental Health
    P.O. Box 179
    500 Broadway
    Eagle, Colorado 81631-0179 


Wood Burning Tips

Contact: Terri Vroman, 970-328-8755

Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are integral parts of mountain living. For those of us who are familiar with their use these helpful hints may seem unnecessary but it is always good to revisit them on occasion.

Only burn wood that has had ample time to dry out since green wood, wood that has been freshly cut, tends to burn more slowly and produce more smoke than wood that has dried out properly. This smoke contributes to the brown haze that is noticeable in the early morning hours in the Eagle valley during the winter months. It also produces a by-product called "creosote", a tar like substance that collects in chimney flues and is the major cause of chimney fires.
Have your chimney cleaned periodically during the wood burning season to avoid the build up of creosote.

Burn smaller pieces of wood instead of loading up the wood box with larger pieces. These smaller fires tend to burn hotter and produce less smoke.

Only burn during waking hours; don't load the stove up before going to bed. A fire unattended is more likely to smolder and could potentially be dangerous.

Eagle County limits the number of wood burning appliances to one unit per dwelling, and encourages the conversion of older wood burners to newer, cleaner gas appliances. Open hearth fireplaces are no longer allowed in new construction in Eagle County. Only EPA Phase II wood burning appliances are now allowed in any new construction, or for replacement of existing units in Eagle County.

For a complete listing of approved wood burning appliances, visit the Indoor Air Quality page.