A quasi-steady-burning channel model is used in this Bureau of Mines study to describe the conductive heat loss from an in situ coal combustor to the surrounding rock strata. The calculated heat losses are significantly greater than those previously estimated, but are still very acceptable from the viewpoint of energy recovery. Approximately 80% to 90% of the heat of combustion of the coal should appear as sensible heat of the gaseous exhaust, with exhaust temperatures in the range of 1,000 deg to 1,200 deg c. The effects of burning stoichiometry and channel size on the heat loss are also discussed in terms of the model. Such effects are shown to be compatible with an in situ combustion process even in thin seams. However, these results depend on gas leakage and adverse roof falls not being important factors in determining the heat loss mechanism.