A couple of months ago I wrote a post about the coming winter and what you should do to be safe from a fire perspective. Since that post I have been out on 2 calls and listened to a third one. So I think since they all had the same cause it is time to update the blog.
You are in your mountain home in the winter. You have a great fire going. It is time to go to bed . What do you do? You could time your logs so you have them burn down. So far so good. But then you have the hot ashes. Some folks have decided to take them outside and dump them. Cold does not mean fire proof. . So with leaves etc I have been on two calls in the cold at night because of this. Your fire place is made to keep the ashes. Make sure you have good screens. Also if you are in the mountains for a weekend and figure you will dump the ashes outside next day don't. Those ashes set one of the 2 fires I have been to.
The third fire was also ashes dumped outside . This time there was snow on the ground. But unfortunately the ashes were dumped too close to the house. This was during our snow storm and many of us could not get to the scene and the fire department trucks almost slid off the road. So many were put in danger. In the end the home owner got it under control with some siding damage.
The point here is folks your fire place is the place for your fire. Just because it is cold does not mean you can dump ashes and not start a fire. Please be especially careful in this cold weather with your hearths and their ashes.