This paper is directed to those interested in techniques for measuring emission rates and emission factors for forest fires and other open combustion sources. A source-sampling procedure that involved the use of a vertical array of lightweight, battery-operated instruments suspended from a helium-filled aerodynamic balloon is described. In this procedure, plume profiles from ground level to 600m can be determined for particulate matter, several combustion gases, windspeed, and temperature. Information on the logistics of the operation and potential application are presented. The advantages and disadvantages of this system, as compared to other ground and airborne sampling systems, are presented. The operational feasibility of the system was demonstrated in a series of 1978 experiments, confirming that this is a viable method of sampling emissions from forest fires.