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Saving A Buck: Comparing firewood prices across Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY - As we head into the winter months, we have an important 'Saving A Buck' for those looking to buy a lot of firewood.

State officials say beware of deceptive advertising, especially when it comes to the amount of firewood you're being promised.

There are slang terms used to sell firewood and then there is one official term, a measurement one seller wishes every business would use.

"I have a lot of customers that tell me they just got scammed because the wood wouldn't burn," Kyle Upchurch, owner of GrowOKC Firewood, said Tuesday.

He said some wood burns longer than others and many sellers in Oklahoma do not use the same measurement when they advertise firewood for sale.

A "cord" of firewood is a stack that measures eight feet long, four feet wide, and four feet tall.

If everyone used the cord measurement, Upchurch said, buyers could fairly compare prices.

But some companies advertise selling a "truckload" or a "rick" of firewood.

What's a rick?

Upchurch said it's like selling flour by the handful.

"And (if I) said 'here' and you said 'well how much is there?' and I'd say 'I don't know,' that's what a 'rick' is."

Even the Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry says a "rick" of wood varies from place to place.

"We commonly refer it to (a rick) as a half a cord, but there's really no standard measurement for the length of that," Mark Bays, Urban Forestry Coordinator with Forestry Services, said.

Bays says the value of a bundle of firewood is easy to judge, but beware of sellers who don't sell firewood by the cord.

"A cord is a standard measurement and you can be assured you're going to get the same quantity, regardless of where you purchase that," he said.

"I wish we could all just do the national legal measurement of a cord," Upchurch said. "It's not that big of a deal."

Bays said buyers should also ask what kind of wood they're buying.

Oak and hickory burn longer.

Also, ask where it came from,  because you don't want wood from another state carrying insects into Oklahoma.

If you have a consumer complaint or want to learn more about buying firewood, click here.