How to Build a Fire
Burning or Oxidation
Substances differ greatly as to the ease with which they may be made to burn or, in technical terms, with which they may be made to unite with oxygen. For this reason, we put light materials, like shavings, chips, and paper, on the grate, twisting the latter and arranging it so that air (oxygen in the air) can reach a large surface; upon this we place small sticks of wood, piling them across each other so as to allow entrance for the oxygen; and finally upon this we place our hard wood or coal.
The coal and the large sticks cannot be kindled with a match, but the paper and shavings can, and these in burning will heat the large sticks until they take fire and in turn kindle the coal.