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Demand for firewood heats up

  • Tom Ormsby cuts firewood at Evans Wood Products, near Forestville, on Friday, December 9, 2011.

With nighttime temperatures dropping into the 30s and 40s, firewood is a hot commodity now in Sonoma County.

"I'm selling more wood than ever before," said Glenn Kantock, owner of All Seasons Firewood on Airport Boulevard. "I'm out there throwing wood (onto trucks) at quarter to six" in the morning.

All Seasons took orders for more than 40 cords of firewood this week, up from 30 to 35 cords a week during November, he said.

Firewood sales at Evans Wood Products in Forestville ran more than $4,300 higher in November than the same month last year, co-owner Mary Jo Evans said, attributing the surge to chilly weather.

Her customers come in saying "I'll bet you're busy — it's so cold," she said.

Some also say they would rather burn firewood than run up their PG&E bill, Evans said.

Daily low temperatures in Santa Rosa averaged 39.7 degrees in November, just under the 41-degree average for Novembers dating back to 1931.

Michael Vlastnik, owner of Sonoma County Firewood on Olivet Road in Santa Rosa, said firewood is becoming "a little more popular" as a source of heat — not just in winter.

Vlastnik, who burns wood at his home, said he was still lighting fires in May, later than he ever had. Most years wood burning stops in March or April, he said.

Kantock and Vlastnik said there is a shortage of firewood on the wholesale market, due in part to the diversion of San Joaquin County wood into biomass energy production.

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