Firewood is sold by a measurement called a "cord." A cord must equal 128 cubic feet. State law states that a cord should be “ranked and well-stowed.” That means that you should stack the wood neatly in a line or row, with pieces touching and parallel to each other and stacked compactly, minimizing air spaces between pieces. Stacking wood in a crisscross fashion falsely inflates the volume. Then measure the stack. To measure, the buyer should multiply the height, width, and length of the stack; the result should equal 128 cubic feet. Measurements taken in inches can be converted to cubic feet by dividing by 1728. The cord (not the pickup load) is the only legal unit of measure for sales of firewood in California. Most Important: Measure the wood before using any. If the cubic measurement indicates that you did not receive the correct volume, contact the seller immediately. If you’re not satisfied about the amount of wood, don’t pay for it until you are, and preferably pay for the wood by check. If the seller can't or won't correct the problem, contact the Mariposa County Department of Weights and Measures at (209) 966-2075 before you burn any wood. Time is important in these investigations; you may not be the only customer to get burned by the wood seller. Be an aware consumer – be alert. Measure first, pay when you’re satisfied, and the only thing getting burned this winter will be the wood in your fireplace!