Little is known about public tolerance of smoke from wildland fires. By combining data from two household surveys, we sought to determine whether tolerance of smoke from wildland fires varies with its origin or managerial rationale, to describe geographical variation in tolerance of smoke, and to describe the relationship between personal smoke-related health experience and tolerance of smoke. Tolerance tended to be moderate and higher in cases when managers were attempting to suppress wildfires. Negligible differences existed across states or between rural and urban areas. However, individuals who had experienced health impacts from smoke in the recent past were significantly less tolerant of smoke. Our studies highlight the importance of communicating the ecological benefits of different types of wildland fire, as well as the public health risks of smoke and ways to mitigate them.