To get the blaze going, you'll need tinder -- small twigs, pine branches, or twisted newspaper -- and kindling, which are larger. Some of the tools you'll want to have handy include a poker, tongs, a fireplace screen to stop wayward sparks, and a shovel, whisk broom, and dustpan to remove the ashes.
Safety should be a paramount concern. The National Chimney Sweep Guild recommends having your chimney swept about once a year; this removes any debris that can block the escape of gases or cause a chimney fire. To find a specialist in your area, look in the Yellow Pages under "chimney" or visit the National Chimney Sweeps Guild website.