The shapes and temperature of flames in power stations, fired with powder coal and gas, have been measured optically. Spectral information in the visible and near infrared is used. Coal flames are visualized in the blue part of the spectrum, natural gas flames are viewed in the light of CH-emission. Temperatures of flames are derived from the best fit of the Planck-curve to the thermal radiation spectrum of coal and char, or to that of soot in the case of gas flames. A measuring method for the velocity distribution inside a gas flame is presented, employing pulsed alkali salt injection. It has been tested on a 100 kW natural gas flame. 3 refs., 9 figs.