New house, new firewood

Excellent question for our advice column, Dear Don't Move Firewood…


Dear Don't Move Firewood,

Maybe I've missed it on your site but I don't see any information on where to find firewood locally. We just bought a vacation home on Whidbey Island but so far I am not aware of a reputable firewood seller. Any information you have would be appreciated.


Thoughtful Burner


Dear Thoughtful,

You didn't miss it- we actually don't have information on exactly where to find local firewood on our site. It'd be nearly impossible to keep that sort of database up to date, and it'd be completely impossible to verify each vendor. Sorry!


Instead, I will offer some advice. You have two options; commercially kiln-dried firewood, or bulk regular firewood. If you want kiln-dried wood (which given that your new house is in one of the rainiest parts of the country might be a good idea), then you can go to most large retailers and look around for a stamp on the package that says something like Heat Treated or Kiln Dried. Of course, this wood is more expensive than bulk regular firewood, so if you are planning to use wood fuel to exclusively heat your house, you need another option.


Untreated firewood straight from the forest or woodpile is lowest risk if it comes from a nearby source (ideally, under 10 miles). So a great way to find firewood is to ask around your neighborhood for where they buy wood- in this case, you'd want to find a seller of wood that cuts and distributes it all within Whidbey Island. Looking at a map of your area, another option might be wood collected with permit on the West slope of Mt Baker National Forest. I don't think farther than that is a very good idea.


Good luck!