The relationship between charcoal production from fires and charcoal deposition in lakes is poorly understood, which limits the interpretation of sediment charcoal records. This calibration study assessed charcoal particle production, size, and transport during the International Crown Fire Modelling Experiment (ICFME) and compared fossil charcoal particle accumulation from 16 lakes in boreal forests of North America. Particle accumulation averaged 20.1 mm2cm-2 inside the ICFME fire; accumulation declined sharply outside the fire, with only 1% of the measured particles transported beyond 20 m from the burn edge. Fossil charcoal accumulation during the past 9000 years was much lower than observed deposition in traps located within the ICFME fire but similar to airborne deposition in traps located 10-60 m from the burn edge. A higher fraction of large diameter particles (>1 mm) was present in fossil charcoal accumulation from historical fires and charcoal peaks that exceeded background accumulation by 1.4 times, suggesting large particles are characteristic of nearby fires. On the basis of a charred-particle production of ~2% of the total fuel consumed by the ICFME fire, we estimate a potential long-term carbon sequestration of 58.2+/-12 g Cm-2 as charred particles from this fire stored in soils or lake sediments.