Fire in the Round pile lead

Believe it or not it does get cold in Florida; although, this past season old man winter skipped us right by. Many folks build a fire in their fire pit or in an outdoor front-loading fireplace called a chiminea on a chilly night. It is the perfect setting to gather round as they sip their favorite beverage of choice and chat about the day’s events. My wife and I are absolutely no exception. We live in an area with quite a few oak trees and storms are a regular occurrence in Florida. In fact, a storm or two equals fallen trees and then the cutting and cleaning up of the same. You’ll see piles of cut wood in yards, lots of property and fields. And, it has to be cleaned up. Armed with a vision of a product I saw in Nevada—my idea for the “Fire in the Round” was born.


I acquired the wood for the “Fire in the Round” from a neighbor who had several fallen trees he was looking to get rid of. From this wood I was able to make several of the outdoor fire starters using a chainsaw (mine was electric), a hammer or staple gun, fence staples, cheap or discarded rope and fire starter stick.

That’s all you’ll need! If you can obtain wood that is already cut you will eliminate some of the labor. A strong back is necessary as hardwoods can be heavy—I used Oak. I had approximately 15 minutes labor in each “Fire in the Round” when finished.


After obtaining the wood, your next step is to take your chainsaw and to cut a starburst or asterisk pattern (3 or 4 cuts) from the center to the outside across the rings without cutting through to the bark.

After your star is born, hammer or staple the rope to the top on each side—my wife suggested to staple on one of the sides through the bark. I prefer my way for ease of carrying the “Fire in the Round.” The next step is to place your fuel or fire starter stick in the center of the starburst. Cut a thin strip off the fire starter stick and soak it in some old Coleman fuel.


There are many options when it comes to building this project including those that reduce costs. If you are an industrialist you can make your own fuel or fire starter sticks from scratch or you can utilize materials that would have been discarded otherwise. This project in itself will save you money in the long run. We typically use the Fire in the Round for bonfires, but it can also be employed for outdoor camp cooking with Dutch or reflector ovens. It burns from the center out and lasts for hours. The length of time that it burns really depends on the thickness of the cut of wood. I think that I will take some to the local fruit and vegetable stand in our area that sells firewood and attempt to sell and make a little extra money on this project to boot. Fire in the Rounds work for me, they ought to work for you as well! Burn safely and enjoy! —By The New Pioneer reader Michael Nitch

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