In a home with a fireplace, there is usually one “fire master.” This is the person who is in charge lighting the fire to make everything warm and cozy. If that responsibility falls on your shoulders, then you want to make sure you live up to the reputation of fire master. Despite your past attempts, you might discover that these approaches are the fastest way to light a fireplace fire:

The Log Cabin Method 

If you played with Lincoln Logs as a kid, then you’ll appreciate this method. You’ll also be showing your age. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Place two logs parallel to the back of the fireplace about six inches apart. These should be thin logs without any bark.

Step 2: Pile up kindling in the space between the logs. This can be twigs or newspapers.

Step 3: Put two more logs perpendicular to the first two. This should give you a one-layer log cabin structure.

Step 4: Add another log layer if you want. Again, thin is good for log size.

Step 5: Light the kindling.

The Upside Down Method

This is another fast lighting method to adapt. Instead of a log cabin, think pyramid.

Step 1: Line up largest logs across the fireplace grate as a foundation.

Step 2: Place a row of smaller longs on top of the foundation.

Step 3: Add more layers with the logs getting smaller with each level.

Step 4: Put kindling at the top.

Step 5: Light the kindling.

If all goes according to plan, the embers from the kindling will drop down and light the large logs below. You might find that this approach creates a stronger draft. You just need to be more precise with sorting you’re your firewood. Try both methods to see which one works best for you.