Here is a series of pictures showing how we get a good start in the pyramid kiln by stacking a pile of wood in the kiln and lighting it from the top. It burns down to coals pretty quickly and gets the burn off to a good start by providing a nice, deep bed of coals that can really put out the heat for the first layer of wood.
We call a pyramid, cone, pit or tube an Open Fire Kiln.
We call an open burn pile that you light from the top (so it burns up the smoke and is clean) a Top-Lit Open Burn. You can read my article about open burning of forest fuel load reduction piles here:
Learning to Burn and Make Biochar, Not Smoke. Kelpie Wilson. Tree Care Industry Magazine. February 2014.