DEER LAKE — Frequent sub-zero temperatures this winter have meant that some of those who burn wood have been going through quite a bit more.
The cold snap has been hitting most of the country according to Environment Canada. The cold, mixed with icy, windy conditions, means heaters are blaring during the night, taking up more cords.
But wood users say for the most part, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Howley resident Don McLean said he’s in the woods quite a lot, getting his winter supply. McLean said that like a lot of people he has an oil furnace as a standby, but fortunately hasn’t had to use it too much.
“I’m glad I’m not burning oil or electricity (full time),” said McLean, who is also a Howley councillor. “I don’t know how people on a fixed income are doing it.”
He said he usually goes to the woods, permit in hand, in the fall, but he may be heading up again in the next few weeks to replace what he’s used so far this year. McLean said he usually stocks two years in advance.
Lewis Forsey usually buys his supply from local providers, but also enjoys hitting the woods to gather his own.
“You know it’s warm when you have to open the door to let the heat out,” laughed Forsey. “I have electric heat, but I don’t even turn it on ... I don’t need to.”
Forsey said burning wood is a cleaner, better heat, that offers savings on energy bills. Plus, it gets him out of the house.
“I love going up in the woods,” he said. “I go up, I get a few rabbits, get a load of wood, it’s great exercise, makes me feel good and it’s just great to be outdoors, (no other heat source) offers that.”
A permit is needed from the provincial government to cut. The permit stipulates what type of wood is allowed to be harvested.
Terry Barnes of Deer Lake echoed Forsey’s sentiments about being outdoors. He usually stocks one year in advance, and even in the arctic temperatures of this winter, he said, there might be some leftover after the season. For Barnes, going in the woods is relaxing.
“It’s my burn-off,” he joked. “You get to go out and see the country, see a few animals, and have a boil-up,” he said. “And it’s good exercise, rather than go to the gym, go to the woods.”
A well-maintained heating system is needed by anyone burning wood. The Deer Lake Volunteer Fire Department said one of the most common calls during winter is for chimney fires.