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Campfire vs Wildfire smoke

The fine particles are the same. Consumer Reports tests 'smokeless' fire pits.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — What's the difference between this wildfire smoke and the campfire smoke we sit around to do our s'mores? The answer is, what's in the smoke of both, is the same.

The EPA explains it this way; the smoke from burning wood is made up of particulate matter. This is solid and liquid droplets and they can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. Particulate matter is microscopic and that's the issue. The teeny tiny particles can get deep into your lungs and bloodstream.

While this wildfire smoke and haze is hard to get away from, campfire smoke seems to dissipate, and even smells good, like summer, right?

But the EPA says no woodfire smoke is good for you.

2 Wants To Know went looking for a safer campfire experience. Consumer Reports tested smokeless firepits.

In the tests, each pit was noted for how fast the fire lit, how effectively it burned, and how easy it was to clean up.

"The ones that did well in our ratings, you can have a small fire in them or a large fire in them, they start quickly so that they are out of the smoky phase sooner and they burn the wood completely so that there's not a lot of clean up afterward,” said Bernie Deitrick of Consumer Reports.


Consumer Reports found the Solo Stove left behind lots of wood and cleaning it up wasn't as easy as some of the other fire pits.

The top performer was a Cuisinart at $249. It was fast to light and it burns the wood more thoroughly than any other model tested.

If you want to skip chopping and lugging around firewood, the Inno fire pit burns wood pellets instead and it’s under a hundred dollars.

And while these fire pits give off less smoke than a traditional campfire, "It's a misnomer to call them smokeless. They are less smoky, but they're not smokeless, you will always have some smoke,” said Deitrick.


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