Fire­wood short­age is loom­ing

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

Haven’t got dry fire­wood in your shed ready for win­ter yet? You might be out of luck.

Many fire­wood sup­pli­ers are run­ning low on dry fire­wood and ex­pect to run out by win­ter’s end, and it’s a prob­lem they ex­pect will only get worse in years to come.

At Burn­ham’s NeedMor Fire­wood, Ewan Bowen has al­ready had to shut up shop for 2018 win­ter sales.

‘‘We’ve sold out. We are go­ing to be all de­liv­ered by the end of March.

‘‘We were sell­ing a lot of green split wood be­fore Christ­mas and in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary we were two to three times as busy as we have been in the past.’’

Bowen said it was get­ting harder and harder to sup­ply enough wood for the de­mand ev­ery year.

‘‘We try and get our own logs if we can, if a farmer needs a shel­ter belt re­moved or some­thing, but even those jobs are be­com­ing less and less.’’

The price logs for ex­port were reach­ing was also mak­ing it hard to com­pete.

‘‘What used to be our fire­wood log is now the low­est grade in the ex­port mar­ket and they are mak­ing good money off it.’’

Bowen had logs wait­ing to be turned in to fire­wood, but that was the start of next year’s sup­ply.

In May­field, Kieran Melville of Elite Fire­wood said he was sit­ting on around 600-800 tonnes of fire­wood logs and the ma­jor­ity his fire­wood went straight from the site where it was cut, into peo­ple’s wood sheds. But fire­wood needed time to dry.

‘‘I had a lot of dry fire­wood tucked away that over the last eight weeks has just gone out the door. I’m down to very lit­tle dry stock now,’’ he said.

He said peo­ple were gen­er­ally get­ting bet­ter at think­ing ahead.

‘‘Straight af­ter New Year peo­ple started ask­ing for dry fire­wood and the peo­ple who have waited – I know that not ev­ery­one has the space to store more fire­wood, or the money – but the peo­ple that weren’t able to be pre­pared early, they will be the ones who end up pay­ing for it later,’’ he said.

‘‘The peo­ple buy­ing fire­wood a year ahead of time are so much bet­ter to deal with than peo­ple who want a dry load the day it starts rain­ing.’’

The ma­jor­ity of his fire­wood came from dairy con­ver­sions and he ex­ported some, and turned what wasn’t suit­able for ex­port into fire­wood.


Kieran Melville from Elite Fire­wood is al­ready busy cut­ting up fire­wood for next win­ter.

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