OneLogFire Burns Bright

by | Apr 2024

The vertical design of a OneLogFire bonfire tote creates a stage for dancing fire sprites.

The vertical design of a OneLogFire bonfire tote creates a stage for dancing fire sprites. Photos: Chris Emeott

OneLogFire passes down the Swedish torch tradition.

In 2009, a Plymouth man took to his home workshop to tinker with a centuries-old innovation. Bill Bies had recently returned from a trip to Europe, and something he saw on his travels had sparked an idea.

Bies observed how Swedish torch contraptions turned the concept of a bonfire on its head with a vertical design and self-contained burn. A single log serves as a chimney, with a hole drilled through the center and a lower ventilation hole that creates the necessary airflow.

He set out to bring the Nordic tradition to Minnesota.

Bies experimented with different native Minnesota trees to find one that burned slowly. He discovered that the red pine—the beloved state tree commonly known as the Norway pine—was the perfect fit. “Red pine has the right amount of pine pitch or sap, so it burns well,” he says.

Bies was fascinated with recreating a modern version of the Swedish torch and wasn’t necessarily looking to start a business. But once a national lawn and garden magazine heard of the portable, easy-to-start campfire solution, the craze started.

OneLogFire ignited in popularity, and distribution grew to include Amazon and Wayfair. Bies enlisted his daughter, Madison Bies, sister-in-law, Lois Bies, and brothers, Bob and Mike Bies, to help cut logs to size, drill holes, add the firestarter and prepare to ship.

Four-foot pine logs are shipped from the small logging town of Orr in northern Minnesota, but before the logs begin their journey from Orr to Plymouth, they’re dried in a kiln. “The kiln is the size of a double car garage, and it takes three weeks to dry,” Bies says. It typically takes two years for the drying process to occur naturally.

The outer bark is also stripped, which removes bugs and makes the logs shippable across the country. In Minnesota, firewood has to be cut and used within a 90-mile radius. But with the bark removed and kiln dried, OneLogFire logs are certified and sent as far as Canada.

The single-use logs burn from the inside out and come in two options: a one-hour or a two-hour burn.

OneLogFire Marshmallow Roasting

Burn, Baby, Burn

There are five simple steps to ignite an evening of fun.

  1. Set up the OneLogFire log on a fire-proof outdoor surface, such as a fire pit, fireplace or rock bed.
  2. Remove the label on the bottom of the log.
  3. If there’s wind present, turn the bottom opening of the log into the wind.
  4. Light the wick of the fire starter.
  5. If you’re having trouble lighting the fire starter, use the label to fan air into the bottom opening.

Pro Tip: For optimal marshmallow roasting, wait 10 to 15 minutes after lighting the OneLogFire log, and use the bottom opening of the log.

To learn more about the Minnesota-grown-and-made product, visit and find it at local stores, including Bachman’s and Jerry’s Do it Best Hardware.

Facebook: Onelogfire
Instagram: @onelogfire_official


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