Heat-Treated Firewood Program (HTFWP)


Frequently Asked Questions About Heat-Treated Firewood

What is Heat-Treated Firewood?

When you want to find some of the best firewood to use while camping or just having a bonfire at home, you truly should consider kiln-dried and heat-treated firewood. We know what you’re thinking, isn’t all firewood eventually heat-treated if it ends up in a fire? Not exactly.

One might then ask, what even is heat-treated firewood in the first place?

In a nutshell, heat-treated firewood is firewood that has been kiln-dried and heat-treated to attain a temperature that eliminates any insects or pathogens that might be in the wood itself. It is also known for lighting more easily than traditional wood and it burns with more efficiency.

Unlike traditional firewood, which is often more or less well air-dried, that you find on the market, certified heat-treated firewood is safe. Traditional air-dry firewood that you might use in a fire will always be able to expel pathogens during storage before burning.

Therefore, using heat-treated firewood is the best option you can choose if you want quality firewood and above all not to spread insects and pathogens in your environment.

How is firewood Heat-Treated?

This is kind of a weird thing for some because it seems like it would be an easy answer. Yet it’s a bit more complicated than one might assume. Keep in mind that the wood itself has to be heated which is similar to a pasteurization process.

Care must be taken to treat it long enough to eliminate problems caused by wood pests. The goal is to heat the wood to a point where it kills insects and pathogens and also reduces its moisture content to make it a high-quality wood for heating. Killing two birds with one stone.

Therefore, it must reach an appropriate temperature while not risking deterioration of the wood itself. The way this is usually done is to put the wood in a heat-treatment chamber (kiln) until it reaches, in the centre of the wood, the lethal temperature for the necessary duration to kill everything it needs to kill, which will then give you heat-treated firewood.

There are 2 main standards(requirements) for heat treatment of firewood:

  • Canada-USA(T314-b): 133° F(56°C) for 30 min
  • Canada (USA export) – USA(T314-a): 140° F(60°C) for 60 min * *

* QWEB with his “HEAT-TREATED FIREWOOD PROGRAM (HTFWP)” has selected 140°F (60°C)/60 minutes standard to meet both requirements.

For more information see the website: quebecwoodexport.com/en/ht-firewood-program

Kiln-Dried vs Heat-Treated (HT) Firewood: What is the difference?

Recognize marks

KD :  Kiln-dried

HT :  Heat-treated

The heat-treated firewood is also kiln-dried. However, the firewood kiln-dried is not heat-treated if not certified to have reached the required temperatures and time. This requires accurate measuring equipment installed in the wood.The objective of kiln-drying is to effectively remove moisture to a moisture content of approximately 10 to 20 percent. The lower moisture content ensures efficient combustion for heat production, proper operation of equipment, and environmental protection.In addition, certified heat-treated (HT) firewood may be permitted by the CFIA to move between regulated areas. CFIA is Canada’s national plant protection organization.This heat-treated firewood is the best way for you to contribute to the protection of our private and public forests, our parks, our urban and residential trees.The certification guarantees that the firewood is heat-treated and bears a mandatory approved identification.

Heat-Treated firewood must be certified?

Only firewood producers certified by an approved monitoring agency ensure that treatment is done according to recognized phytosanitary standards.

Only certified heat-treated (HT) firewood can guarantee to eliminate the risk of insects or pathogens. The certification guarantees that the firewood is heat-treated and carries a mandatory approved identification and packaging.

Certified, heat-treated firewood is the safest option, as it can be used anywhere without the danger of spreading insects or pathogens.

Be sure to look for this certification mark on or in the sealed package before you buy:

Companies that are approved under the QWEB HEAT-TREATED FIREWOOD PROGRAM (HTFWP) are listed on the following link: https://quebecwoodexport.com/en/ht-firewood-program/certification-program/#section-3/

The packaging and the QWEB certification mark assure you of the validity and traceability of the heat- treatment. To our knowledge, the QWEB program is the only heat-treated firewood certification program in Canada.

To our knowledge, it is also the only Canadian program that meets the United States import standard. This standard is detailed in the following link : Don’t Be Delayed at the Border—Make Sure Your Firewood Is Heat-Treated.

What can the general public do and why is it important?

Moving uncertified heat-treated firewood, to or from your home, campground, or cottage, can spread invasive species (insects and diseases). When you need firewood, remember to:

  • Use only certified heat-treated (HT) firewood or use firewood from a local source (less than 80 km) where you’ll burn it.
  • On campgrounds and parks burn firewood from local sources and leave it on-site or purchase certified heat-treated (HT) firewood. Ask the site host about firewood requirements.
  • Do not move firewood that is uncertified heat-treated (HT).
  • Respect all firewood restriction of movement under phytosanitary regulations.

See these links to learn more about the regulatory restrictions on firewood

Hazards of moving firewood https://inspection.canada.ca/plant-health/forestry/don-t-move-firewood/firewood/eng/1330963478693/1330963579986
What’s in my firewood, and why should it matter? https://science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/97858.html
Don’t move firewood – Prevent the spread of pests https://inspection.canada.ca/plant-health/forestry/don-t-move-firewood/eng/1500309474824/1500309544561
Don’t move firewood: Join the fight against invasive species https://inspection.canada.ca/chronicle-360/plant-health/don-t-move-firewood/eng/1518465790617/1518465790984