Firewood Burning Rates and Characteristics

The species of firewood available in our area is generally limited to Douglas Fir, Big Leaf Maple and Red Alder. All of our wood is kiln dried to achieve the optimal moisture content rating of 15%-20%. Occasionally we find Arbutus however it is a protected species that must not be cut down or removed without permission. Firewood heat is measured in BTU or British Thermal Units. 1 BTU is roughly the equivalent to 1055 Joules.


Douglas Fir – Characteristics

Douglas Fir – Fir is what we consider to be the best firewood available in the area. Although it is considered as a soft wood, it would be more fairly described as a medium wood. The approximate energy release for Douglas Fir is between 23 and 27 million BTU’s per cord.


Douglas Fir – Firewood Burning Rates

Douglas Fir 22.5


Big Leaf Maple – Characteristics

Big Leaf Maple – Contrary to popular belief, Big Leaf Maple is not better than Douglas Fir however it is still a very good source of heat for your fireplace. Sugar Maple however is very hard and provides nearly 25% more BTU per cord. Unfortunately we can only find these harder species in Eastern Provinces.


Big Leaf Maple – Firewood Burning Rates

Big Leaf or
Soft Maple


Red Alder – Characteristics

Red Alder – Red Alder is probably the weakest species listed here for home heating and especially if you buy wood that is not kiln dried. Due to its high Nitrogen content, Alder will develop rot, mold and should never be stored indoors.


Red Alder – Firewood Burning Rates

Red Alder 17.6