Burning with Wood

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Interested in heating with wood?

 If you are considering heating with wood, or already have a wood-burning appliance in your home, please read the comprehensive and informative "A Guide to Residential Wood Heating" from NRCAN.

 See the New Stove page for information on permits and installation.

Guide to Residential Wood Heating 890 KB pdf
  • Only burn dry, seasoned fire wood
  • Start fire only with newspaper and kindling
  • Wood should be seasoned for 3-12 months (to reach 15% moisture content).
  • Dry wood burns more efficiently. Burning green wood is inefficient, leads to incomplete combustion, excessive smoke and creosote build-up.
  • Split your wood to expose more surface area and improve drying.
  • Stack wood to allow good air circulation.
  • Cover your wood to keep it dry.
  • It is illegal to burn:
    • waste (paper, plastic, cardboard, magazines)
    • composite wood (plywood, particle board)
    • painted or treated wood 

Maintain your stove for your health and safety

  • Remove cold ashes frequently. This maintains air circulation around the wood which increases hot burn.
  • Cold ashes can be bagged after 48 hours and added to your black cart, or saved for your garden.
  • Reduce risk of chimney fire by brushing your chimney regularly to clean out creosote.
  • Consult a certified WETT technician to inspect and clean your chimney to remove creosote build-up, check dampers and pipe for deterioration or corrosion.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that is created through burning. If your stove or chimney is not operating properly, carbon monoxide can leave into your home and can be fatal.

Refer to the Yukon government's website on carbon monoxide for more information.

Seriously simple

Wood smoke and your health

View the City's new brochure on wood smoke. 

Wood smoke can affect human health. Proper burning practices can reduce health risks.

  • Wood smoke contains small particles that can cause coughing,headaches and irritation to the throat. Children, elders and people with heart conditions are most susceptible to wood smoke pollutants. 
  • Some contaminants from burning clean-dry wood can affect your health:
    • Small particles can lead to serious respiratory issues.
    • Carbon monoxide can cause fatigue, headaches, and nausea and can lead to death.
    • Formaldehyde triggers asthma, coughing.
    • Hydrocarbons can cause damage to lungs.
    • Acrolein can cause eye & respiratory irritation.
    • Click here for more information on the health effects of wood smoke.          
  • Wood smoke should be white or invisible. Grey or black smoke means there is a problem with your fuel, burning practices, stove or chimney.
  • NEVER burn glossy paper (magazines, photographs), white office paper, cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam, or aluminum. These produce very toxic smoke, and can damage your stove’s expensive catalytic converter.

Open burning

Firepit 1

A burning permit is required for all open burning, which includes burning within a backyard fire pit. Burning permits are issued by the Whitehorse Fire Department (867) 668-2462.

Click here for information about backyard fire pits.