do fires burn better in cold weather

Cold fronts are masses of oncoming cold air, but do fires burn better in cold weather? 

In this blog, we’ll learn how cold affects fires and give you some tips on how to start a fire when it’s cold outside. 

Keep reading for more information!

A cold front may promote and hinder fire development. Fronts of cold air advance. Air is usually humid. A cold front cools and moistens the air, which helps suppress a fire and stop its progress.

How to Start a Fire in Extreme Cold Weather

how to start a fire

Does cold weather affect fires? Lighting a fire in the cold may be quite difficult. 

It takes much more planning, scrounging, and effort to ignite one while it’s dry and warm.

It’s usually a good idea to have dry kindling with you if you intend to start a fire.

Here are a few things to consider while starting a fire in cold weather.

Before You Start

Before you do anything else, choose a location away from anything that may catch fire. 

Clear a snowy area, dig a tiny hole in the earth and surround it with rocks.

If the soil is frozen, you'll have to construct the pit from the ground up.

Prepare for cold weather and snowy circumstances by having the necessary setup and keeping your fire pit equipment. 

You should never leave an open fire pit alone, so follow these preliminary measures before starting your fire.

Maintain Your Fire Pit Cover

fire pit with flames

During the midwinter months, your lawn and backyard accessories may already have inches or even feet of snow.

Storage in a backyard shed or garage or a fire pit cover may be all that is needed to keep your fire pit operational all winter long.

This can help prevent snow and ice from accumulating on your fire pit and creating rust or water damage.

It will also make it much simpler to start an outside fire rather than scraping off snow, all you have to do is peel off the tarp or remove the fire pit from storage.

Keep your Firewood in a Dry Location

dry firewood

Just as you should take care while storing your fire pit, you should also take care when keeping your firewood.

If you have the space, keep your firewood in a dry place, such as your garage or an outside shed. 

If you must store it in the yard, get a firewood wrack to keep it off the ground.

This keeps water from melting snow and other cold weather conditions from soaking in, similarly to your fire pit, attempting to keep the firewood covered with a tarp. 

This keeps your firewood dry and ready to go when needed since soggy wood is never ideal for an outdoor or inside fire.

Clear the Seating Area

clear seating area

Keep your fire pit away from overhanging trees, rooftops, or other structures to comply with fire safety standards, which means your seating area will probably be blanketed in snow. 

Before you may start your fire, clear a sitting space and tidy up the furnishings and seating arrangements surrounding the pit.

No matter what style of fire pit you have, you don’t want to put it on top of snow since it will melt and cause your fire to become unstable. 

So, be sure to provide adequate room for your fire pit, seating arrangements, and walking space.

If your sitting arrangements have been coated in the snow until now, you may also wish to dry them off.

Dig a Path

clear path of snow

Finally, you don’t want to risk tripping and falling when transporting fire-starting gear and other items to your fire pit.

Clear a route out to your fire pit set up by shoveling away any snow. 

This can assist in speeding up the fire-starting process, allowing you to get warm faster and avoid having to wade around in knee-high snow to get you and your family comfortable around the fire.

Starting the Fire

You must ignite and maintain your fire pit now that you have created a route for it.

It might be tough to light a fire in the winter, but all it needs is a little patience. 

Follow the added safety precautions with wintertime flames, and you’ll be ready to sit back and admire your work.

Maintain Safety

maintain safety from fire

First and foremost, never make a fire in the cold with gloves. It just takes one spark to catch and burn your gloves and hands.

Unless you have fire-resistant gloves, put them aside for the time being. 

Roll up your sleeves or keep them as far away from the fire as possible, and be cautious with your fire-starting equipment.

It’s tempting to use a lot of lighter fluid to start a chilly fire in the winter, but doing so is harmful.

Maintain the Fire

Begin by igniting some little kindling and gradually increasing the size of the fire.

It may be more difficult to start a fire in the cold weather, but be patient and don’t hurry. 

If you maintain your wood pile dry and snow-free, you should be able to keep your fire going for as long as you wish, depending on how much fuel you have.

Put a sheet away from the flames to keep the additional firewood dry and out of the snow.

Does Cold Weather Affect Fires?

cold weather affect fire

Fires need fuel, heat, and oxygen to feed the chemical process. To begin, weather plays an important part in all of these criteria.

For example, the cold temperature has an impact on the fire.

Here are three major cold weather-related factors influencing fire. Each is examined more below.


The air’s moisture is measured by relative humidity (RH).

It quantifies the quantity of water vapor in the air as a percentage of the amount required for the air to be saturated (i.e., 100 percent RH).

Humidity changes with temperature; as temperature rises, humidity falls (and vice versa).

Humidity is significant because it influences fire content and hence flammability.

In cold weather, for example, moisture from the atmosphere is carried to the fire, making it less flammable.


winter wind

The wind is a major influencing factor that controls the pace and direction of fire spread, as well as the form of the fire.

Cold fronts are sometimes accompanied by high winds, which may agitate a fire and give it more oxygen to burn furiously. 

As a result, cold fronts have been known to restart dying flames and, in certain circumstances, reverse the path of the fire, and the presence of snow reduces the flammability.


Temperature influences fire behavior indirectly during cold weather by influencing fuel moisture content and local wind generation (e.g., sea-breezes).

As a result, as air temperature rises, fuel moisture content falls, and vice versa. 

Dew may develop, causing fires to slow or even extinguish. Furthermore, the greater the fuel temperature, the easier it is to attain ignition temperature.

notes to take

Notes to Take

1. A cold front may promote and hinder fire development.

2. There are three major cold weather-related factors influencing: fire, temperature, humidity, and wind.

3. To start your fire in cold weather:

  • Select a location that is out of the elements, dry if possible, and maybe beneath some tree bows.
  • Dig a fire pit until you reach the bare ground if the snow isn’t too thick.
  • If you simply need a fire to cook meals or boil water, go ahead and flatten some snow and build it there.

FAQs About Do Fires Burn Better In Cold Weather

Do you have more questions about whether fires burn better in cold weather?

Here are some additional questions.

Is It True That Wood Burns Faster in the Cold?

Using a significant quantity of wood and oxygen on the fireplace, mainly when more energy is pouring into a single fire, increases the likelihood of flame and intensity.

Is It More Difficult to Start a Fire When It’s Cold?

faqs about fire in cold

Although a cold fire will be more difficult to start, this most likely indicates that you aren’t using your gas stove appropriately.

Your freezing hands and waning patience are the only things that may postpone the start of your fire.

Is Cold Air Better than Fire?

A cold front may both aid and hinder the development of wildfires. Cold air is massed together to create a clump as it moves in a cold front.

Wetness is common. A cold front cools the air and moistens the water, which helps put out fires.

Final Verdict

Do fires burn better in cold weather? A cold front may both stimulate and hinder fire development.

Cold fronts are masses of cold air moving forward. 

The atmosphere is usually damp as well.

When a cold front swings in, the air becomes colder and contains more moisture, which may help suppress a fire and prevent it from spreading.

Thanks for reading!