Over large regions of the globe, emissions from biomass burning are known to contribute significantly to the injection of pollutants into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases and carbonaceous aerosols, emitted by the vegetation fires, impact on the radiation balance at the surface, on the acidification of precipitation, on air quality and human health. Vegetation fires act also as a direct disturbance to the terrestrial ecosystems, which play a role as sources or sinks of carbon at local, regional and global scales.