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County of Madera


Firewood Measurement

The cord (not the pickup load} is the only legal unit of measure for sales of firewood in California. A cord (like other measurements such as a foot, a gallon, or a ton) is defined by law. A cord equals 128 cubic feet of ranked and well stowed wood, typically measuring 4'x4'x8'. Cubic feet is obtained by multiplying the length times the width times the height of the wood. Measurements taken in inches can be converted into cubic feet by dividing by 1,728.

a chord of woodWhen ordering wood, make sure it is sold by the cord measure, not by the pickup load. Wood for fuel purposes can only be sold of offered for sale by cord measure, fraction of the cord, or percentage of the cord.

Measure the wood when it is delivered or when you pick it up. Make sure you are getting the correct amount before you hand over any money. If you're not satisfied about the amount, don't pay for it until you are and then, preferably pay by check.

Make sure you get a bill of sale from the wood seller. The seller is required to furnish the buyer with a bill of sale giving the amount of wood purchased, the total selling price, the seller's name and address, and the date of sale or delivery.

How to measure a cord of firewood

A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, well stowed and packed. To determine how many cubic feet of wood you actually have, use the following simplified method:

How to measure a cord

Any person who suspects they have been taken advantage of, or who may have questions regarding firewood sales, is asked to contact the Madera County Department of Weights and Measures at 675-7876. If you think you were shorted wood, DO NOT BURN any of the delivery until an inspector has measured the load.

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Contact the Ag Dept.

Agriculture Department
332 South Madera Avenue
Madera, CA 93637
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General County Contact

General County Contact
200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
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Use this number to get general information about the County or County departments.  

For non-emergency information or service, dial 311