Compact the grass, hunh...?
Wish I had known that way back then!
Thanks for the tip should this occur in the future.
it took me a long time of not knowing before I stumbled onto the knowledge myself. In the early days of us living out here I think we got to know every volunteer fighter in the county they were here so often. Winter and summer. I had so many flue fires I lost count. There was one that was so cool looking I really didn't want them to put it out. The embers were shooting thirty feet in the air above the flue (or about 50 feet in the air), no wind, cold and clear night. It was the best roman candle ever! But the FD showed up and threw soda down the pipe and put it out. I finally convinced my wife to stop calling the FD when the flue caught fire. I'd just go outside and stand around watching to see if the roof caught then I'd grab the garden hose from inside and water the area down. I also learned to build a super hot fire about once a week to keep the creosote buildup at bay. Burn it out before it got 3/8" thick and it doesn't burn nearly as hot as it does when it's 1-1/2" thick and wet.
But let me tell you that it's an eerie sound when it lights up. it's even eerier when i turned out the basement lights and watch the single wall flue pipe down there turn a 6" long band of the flue cherry red and it migrates up the flue as the creosote burns. I have triple walled insulated SS pipe from the ceiling in the basement to out of the roof. After a good flue fire the pipe is clean as a whistle though!