Forest fuels, prescribed fire, and air quality
Document Type: Report
Author(s): J. Alfred Hall
Publication Year: 1972

Cataloging Information

  • air pollutants
  • air quality
  • CO - carbon monoxide
  • hydrocarbons
  • particulates
  • SO2 - sulfur dioxide
  • wood smoke
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 11091
Tall Timbers Record Number: 2788
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The combustion products (smoke) from forest wildfires or prescribed burns are often considered on a par with any other emission that might affect air quality. But enough is known about smoke from woody fuels to indicate that its importance is limited almost entirely to visibility obstruction, an effect that can be minimized by proper timing and preparation for burning. Much of the organic matter in smoke from forest fuels is similar to material normally entering the atmosphere from vegetative life or from the decomposition of vegetative matter. Fire compresses these processes into a shorter time. The environmental effects of prescribed burning are far more than compensated by great reduction in danger of disastrous forest conflagrations.

Online Link(s):
Hall, J. Alfred. 1972. Forest fuels, prescribed fire, and air quality. Portland, OR: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 47 p.