Question: My parents just bought a home with fireplaces. We're having a hard time keeping the fire from burning out fast. I opened the vent, put kindling on the grates--one at each end, then I crisscrossed the wood and started the fire. After thirty minutes it burns out. I believe the wood is seasoned,but this is the second time it has burned out quickly. What am I doing wrong? Answer: Open fireplaces will burn wood very quickly. One trick is o allow the ash and embers to build up underneath the grate until it closes off the air flow from the bottom of the fire. This should allow for much longer burn times.