Hi all, For the past 3 days, both my wife and I have been struggling to get even marginal fires going. We're using the same wood, good kindling, and plenty of newspaper. Hell, I even tossed in 1/2 a super cedar today AFTER 20 minutes of the fire struggling and it didn't do anything. However, I was able to get it going good.... The thing that is getting me is the behaviour. It doesn't make any sense to me, and I only have one theory. Here's what's going on: 1. Plenty of draft - the fires may even start out very healthy and "roaring" but then dies down. If I shut the door within 15-20 minutes of starting the fire, it immediately dies off and doesn't ever really recover. Leaving the door open it just dies slower... 2. Same wood - Semi-seasoned, absolutely, but I've been using it for like 40 new fires without a problem. Further, it's ash that's been seasoned for a few months + pine - two of the best woods for burning semi-seasoned. I've got PINE that won't fire up. 3. Stacking is done in the same way as always. I bundle up like 6-8 pieces of newspaper (ALOT) and put light kindling on top of it progressing to heavier on top. I haven't found the top-down method works well for me yet on thiss tove, but the normal bottom-up has. I then put newspaper in the middle of the pile and on top. I light it up and it goes all inferno...then dies off.... So here's the weird part: It dies off to the point where the small pieces are mostly gone or smoldering, and the large pieces are solidly lit in very specific areas but kinda just sit there with a steady flame licking upwards. The fire doesn't grow and doesn't change (and this is on pine and ash, mind you). The stove stays at or under 300 degrees. Now here's the weirdest part: Multiple times now I've been able to get it roaring within 15 minutes from that stage by merely re-arranging the lit medium splits and ADDING to the firebox until it's stacked to the top with new medium splits. This morning I had a smoldering fire going for 30-45 minutes - stove top at 250-275 and door open. I got sick of it and re-arranged the wood and shoved tons more on top. Within 2-3 minutes, the firebox was roaring. I shut the door and took a shower. Came back down in 10 minutes and the stove top was 500 degrees with good secondaries going. what is going on there? Here are my only working theories so far: 1. I'm "learning the stove" - I don't really believe this because I've begin extremely successful and its suddenly happened for 3 straight days to both my wife and I, using identical wood. 2. "Heat sink"? - The past 3 days the outdoor temps have dropped to the coldest yet - around 20-25 degrees. My stove is in an exterior chimney and because we haven't had strong fires, I'm sure all that masonry has gotten really cold. Is it possible that the fires are dying off after a strong start because the stove is just not heating up? This seems a little ridiculous, but I do know that my fires will die off if my fan is too high too soon and it sucks all the heat off the surface, so I imagine a really cold chimney could kill the fire off too? Looking for that helpful hearth.com wisdom Joe P.s. I have no block-off plate nor insulation behind the stove...I'm going to be buying firebatts (safe to 2700 degrees) and shoving them up around the 6" flue pipe and around the back of the stove, then covering the surfaces of the insulation with heavy duty aluminum foil.