Building a wintertime fire doesn’t have to be intimidating—we demystified the process with this simple chart.

fire lifecycleGraphic by Katie Field

One last tip: The process is the same for a woodstove—except it’s more forgiving. There’s no need to stress about using wood that doesn’t spark or leaving the fire unattended. Reference the stove’s instructions, but in general keep the primary and secondary vents fully open for 10 to 15 minutes. Then leave the primary vent open a crack and the secondary open a third of the way.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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