Christchurch firewood sellers are warning consumers to be wary after numerous complaints of people being sold wet, unburnable firewood.
City Firewood manager Robbie Harris told The Press demand is increasing for wood now, but that backyard sellers are in some cases selling low quality wood for prices similar to those asked for professionally-dried wood.
"They are advertising on social media that their wood is dry, or ready to burn, or ready next week, except that it is not," Mr Harris said.
"Unfortunately, we get lots of people coming in who have been conned by these people.
"Surprisingly this wood isn't even cheap, it's often comparable, or even more expensive than our wood."
Firewood needs to be dried for some time - often months - if left in open air after it is cut, and needs to be kept protected from rain throughout that time.
Professional firewood retailers often use an industrial kiln set up to dry firewood.
Wet wood produces much less heat than dry wood when burned, and causes much more smoke, as well as soot buildup in the chimney.