Abstract. Almost US$ 3bn per year is appropriated for wildfire management on public land in the United States. Recent studies have suggested that ongoing climate change will lead to warmer and drier conditions in the Western United States with a consequent increase in the number and size of wildfires, yet large uncertainty exists in these projections. To assess the influence of future changes in climate and land cover on lightning-caused wildfires in National Forests and Parks of the Western United States and the consequences of these fires on air quality, we link a dynamic vegetation model that includes a process-based representation of fire (LPJ-LMfire) to a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). Under a scenario of moderate future climate change (RCP4.5), increasing lightning-caused wildfire enhances the burden of smoke fine particulate matter (PM), with mass concentration increases of ~ 53 % by the late-21st century during the fire season. In a high-emissions scenario (RCP8.5), smoke PM concentrations double by 2100. RCP8.5 also shows large, northward shifts in dry matter burned, leading to enhanced lightning-caused fire activity especially over forests in the northern states.