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Wildfire smoke has become a serious problem for air quality across much of North America, and wildfires are predicted to increase in frequency and severity with our changing climate. The particles emitted from smoke also impact climate by impacting cloud formation and reflectivity. However, the chemical evolution of smoke is poorly understood. To this end, we use field and laboratory studies to consider the chemical processes occurring in smoke plumes. Oxygenated aromatic compounds turn out to be particularly important components as they form light-absorbing nitroaromatics. Investigating these reactions, we find curious behavior in aerosol formation involving nitrocatechol. This talk will explore the chemistry of oxygenated aromatics in wildfire smoke, and the processes that control the sources and fate of organic aerosol in the atmosphere.