Wood-Wise 101


Be Wood-Wise: Burn smart, burn clean, burn safely

Did you know that burning “green” firewood is not green at all? Or that smoke coming from your chimney is a sign your wood stove is wasting energy? Or how you find someone properly certified to install your stove or chimney?

More and more homeowners and cottagers are turning to wood as a carbon-neutral, sustainable energy source. That’s good for the environment, but it could be good for your community. But it is important to know how to use firewood safely to minimize the threat of personal injury and property loss.

To help communities Be Wood-Wise, WAM is offering Wood-Wise 101 workshop packages to community organizations. The 2.5-hour workshop package features three experts, offering hands-on learning. And they will take questions from participants to help sort out specific issues they are having with their wood supply, wood-burning appliances and chimneys.

The Wood-Wise 101 workshops will cover how to:

  • select good firewood,
  • build a clean fire using the top-down technique,
  • burn cleanly with advanced technology appliances,
  • burn safely, inside and outside your home.

The fee charged for workshops hosted by community organizations depends on the length of the workshop (i.e., a 4-hour Saturday workshop will be more than a 2.5-hour week-night event), and the travel costs.

For more information

  • on community Wood-Wise 101 workshops,
  • to sponsor a community Wood-Wise 101 workshop, or
  • to receive notification of an up-coming workshop in your area,

contact Bob Austman at wood-wise@woodlotmanitoba.com.

Workshop schedule: Details of the time and location of firewood safety workshops will be posted here as soon as they are available.To receive advance notice or to sign up for up-coming Wood-Wise 101 workshops, email wood-wise@woodlotmanitoba.com. Please indicate your location or the nearest town.

Our experts

Our workshop presenters are experts in firewood and firewood safety:

  • Bob Austman, WW101 instructor, educator with the Manitoba Model Forest, Junior Ranger instructor, WAM director, and an expert on selecting and handling firewood.
  • Henry Nagtegaal, WW101 instructor, WETT certification instructor (Wood Energy Transfer Technology) and an expert on installation of wood-burning appliances and chimneys.
  • Kim Fiddler, FireSmart and Prevention Program Coordinator, Manitoba Conservation & Stewardship, who brings an indoor and outdoor perspective to firewood safety.

Details of the time and location of up-coming workshops will be posted as soon as they are available.


Wood-Wise 101 began as a WAM pilot project in 2013/2014 to address the lack of information available on the safe use of firewood in Manitoba. This included offering firewood safety workshops and developing the Wood-Wise Firewood Information Centre. The pilot project was supported by the Manitoba Community Services Council, Red River Mutual, WETT Inc., Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner, Manitoba Conservation and Stewardship – Forestry Branch, and the Manitoba Model Forest.

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