Prescribed burning, an indispensable tool of forest management through-out much of the South, is accused of being an agent of air pollution. In some instances, a concerted effort is being made to restrict its use. Yet, no one has shown that air quality has deteriorated more in areas where prescribed fire is used extensively than it has where fire is not used. This paper attempts to present the case for the defense. If prescribed fires were to be outlawed, we would be confronted with unbearable management costs, an intolerable fuel situation that would most assuredly lead to catastrophic wildfire situations, and/or a general decline in the productivity of our forest resources. And, we would still have the problems of air pollution; they will not be checked by a suspension of prescribed burning.