Editor's note: Barry Courter has a 25-year-old son who is a college graduate and a 20-year-old daughter who is a sophomore in college.
Q: Dad, we got an outdoor fire pit and have a bunch of wood sitting around. Can we burn it?
A: Glad you asked. It's not as simple as it seems. First, don't burn treated lumber like old fences or posts. The chemicals are bad for you. Pine is full of sap and, while creosote build up in an outdoor pit isn't a big issue, it will pop and possibly send hot coals out into the yard or onto you. You also need to be aware that the wind can carry burning embers onto your roof or into the trees, so use a screen, don't burn on really windy or really dry days and try not to pile leaves or pine needles onto the fire.
-- Barry Courter
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...