PAG Report 24 | Published November 2004 | Smoke is one short-term effect of forest fires. Smoke is regulated by a web of interrelated federal and state laws and regulations designed to protect human health and welfare. Many forest managers agree that using prescribed fire can have less adverse effects on air quality than allowing wildland fires to burn forests under uncontrolled conditions. A policy question arises: Are the laws and regulations that protect air quality flexible enough to allow for increased smoke from prescribed fires in the short-term in order to prevent worse air quality from unplanned wildland fires in the future? This report replies to that question.