Once the ware is loaded, the burner(s) are turned on. Because the kiln's interior size is so small, the internal temperature will increase very quickly into the incandescent ranges. Many raku firings take a half hour or less to get the kiln to temperature.
Watch is kept on the pots through one or more peep holes. Use UV-cutting safety goggles, since looking into hot kilns can damage the eye. Once the glaze can be seen to have become fluid and the surface has smoothed, the burner(s) shut off. Usually, this will be at about cone 08 (1735°F - 945°C).
The kiln is opened immediately, while the interior is glowing incandescent. This level of heat requires safety issues be held firmly in mind as the kiln is opened and the work of quickly removing pots begins.
Image courtesy of Lori Buff of Future Relics Gallery.