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Quick Guide to Buying Firewood in Placer County


AUBURN, CALIF. -- With the wood stove and fireplace season upon us, Placer County Agricultural Commissioner is reminding consumers to know what they are getting when buying firewood.

"There are many reputable firewood dealers in Placer County who sell quality products in correct amounts.  Buyers should be aware of a few requirements for sellers before they hand over money for firewood."

Those requirements include:

  • Firewood must be sold by the cord or partial cord. A cord is equal to 128 cubic feet of tightly stacked wood. In general, the bed of a pickup truck (even a full-sized truck) will not hold a full cord.
  • A receipt is required of all firewood transactions that include sellerís name, address, the date of purchase, the quantity of wood purchased (in cords) and the price.
  • If the seller has made representations regarding the type of wood, that information must also be included on the receipt.

Not all types of wood burn the same when it comes to firewood. Softer woods such as pine or fir burn faster than harder woods, such as oak or walnut. Green wood -- wood that has not been adequately seasoned -- should be avoided. Green wood will not burn easily, creates smoke and can leave excessive creosote deposits in stove pipes or chimneys, which can lead to flue fires.

The Agricultural Commissioner also offers the following suggestions to consumers when buying wood:

  • The buyer should be present at the time of delivery to ensure that everything is as it should be. If the wood is green, rotten, not split, or the type expected, donít buy it.
  • Do not pay for firewood until it has been delivered. If the seller is only going to deliver half of your order at a time, only pay for half.
  • Be careful when buying wood from out of the area; it may be hard to track down the seller if you later have a problem.
  • Be careful when purchasing wood from someone parked on the side of the road. Chances are that these sellers do not really have a full cord in the back of their trucks.
  • It is illegal to sell anything in the county right of way. Be very cautious when thinking about buying firewood from someone parked on the side of the road.
  • Check references on sellers before the wood is delivered.

"Many people in Placer County have the pleasure of heating their homes with wood. That pleasure is more enjoyable with a few precautions and awareness of what's required of firewood sellers."

Once your wood is delivered, stack and measure it. Do not burn any until you have done this. If the load appears to be short, you can call Placer County Weights and Measures at (530) 889-7372.

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