Firewood shortage: Cold weather causing high demand
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) —
Sitting in front of a roaring fire in a fireplace makes dealing with the freezing temperatures in Northwest Florida a little more bearable.
Many businesses like Lumberjack Tree Service are sold out of firewood and some say it may take weeks before they're restocked. Others have been working around the clock to meet high demand.
It has been a busy three weeks for Darren Johns.
He's been powering on his splitter and working nonstop trying to keep up with the demand for firewood.
Johns said, "Nobody brings it to me. I don't have no tree companies dropping it or anything like that. I just have to go hunt for the good seasoned stuff."
Johns has wrangled all the wood himself.
"I have to go all over the place," he said. "There's like a few little stash holes here and there but I actually go deep off in the woods sometimes to get it just wherever I can find it."
Some businesses like Bob Ross Tree Service are all out of dry wood.
Bob Ross preps firewood all year, but this year their supply has not been able to keep up with the demand.
Johns said that's the trend around town.
"When I started I had a lot of wood on my yard and now it's to the point where I'm having to pick and choose. I can't get everybody's phone calls. I'm having to take a few here and there," Johns said.
He also said, "You can just hear kind of when people call, you hear kind of a little urgency in their voice that there's not as much firewood around Pensacola as there usually is."
Ray Melton, fire prevention and education officer with Escambia County Fire Rescue, said there have been two house fires recently related to chimneys, so if you do plan to use yours make sure you get it cleaned.
"They should have that done annually and even if they have a gas fireplace it builds up carbons and things in the fireplace and overtime that can ignite," Melton said.
Melton hopes people take the necessary precautions if they plan to use their fireplace during this cold snap.
As for Johns, he expects to chip away at all the orders he's received one log at a time.
Melton said if you do plan to use a wood or gas fireplace to make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector in the house to warn people if fumes get in the home.