I would suggest not to place all of the lit coals over the complete pile of unlit at the beginning when starting your fire. Find an old coffee can (#10) and remove the top and bottom. Place the can in the center of your fire basket (mine is round) and fill around the can and basket with unlit charcoals. Place a few coals in the coffee can and ignite. I sometime use a torch or I dump lit coals from a chimney starter using long cooking mitts. Remove coffee can. Close all bottom vents except one and leave all top vents open to start. Use a digital temp gauge to monitor and tweak from this point forward as temps start to rise.
Good luck and I hope this helps.