Savanna fires are the largest global source of biomass burning emissions. While these compounds adversely impact the local air quality and long-term climate change, documentation on qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the emissions are still very scarce.
The adverse effects of smoke on air quality and visibility are of great concern for fire and land managers planning prescribed burns. Since the fire emissions may lead to a violation of the National ambient air quality standards, decisions about the prescribed burns must be made not only based on the fire safety criteria (wind speed, fuel moisture etc.) but also taking into account impacts of the smoke on air quality and visibility.