How to dry coal
Drying the fuel is relatively simple, if the fuel has been delivered loose and has been placed into a bunker the advice is to prop the lid open to allow air circulation. Also when obtaining fuel from the bunker take the fuel from the top of the pile rather than the bottom (from the hatch). If the fuel has been tipped into a coal house then leave the door ajar again to promote air circulation. In both instances the fuel will be under cover and thus reducing further moisture ingress.
If the fuel has been supplied pre-packed and cannot be tipped prior to use, ensure the bags are stored indoors / under cover, upright and off the floor where possible. Although the packaging does have breath holes pre-packed fuels tend to hold moisture levels longer due them being in a relatively sealed environment. Water collection is also possible within the bag if the fuel has been packed during poor weather or condensation has formed. Opening the tops of the bags prior to use will also assist, again by encouraging air circulation around the fuel.
During ignition you may experience an increased amount of smoke / steam for a longer period than usual while excess moisture is driven off. You may also find an increased amount of air and heat source is required i.e. opening the air vents to the appliance and or removing the ash pan cover for increased air supply, use a greater amount of kindling / firelighters to establish a longer and hotter ignition period. This will assist any excess moisture to be evaporated and the fuel should then reach normal operational temperature. Recharging an established fire will again produce an amount of smoke however the recharge will be placed onto an already established fire and thus have a higher fire bed temperature to assist in the reduction of moisture.