Combustion-derived particles (CDPs), in particular from traffic, are regarded as a central contributor for adverse health effects linked to air pollution. Recently, also biomass burning has been recognized as an important source for CDPs. Here, the effects of CDPs (PM10) originating from burning of pellet, charcoal and wood on key processes associated to lung carcinogenesis were explored. Human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC3-KT) were exposed to 2.5 μg/cm2 of CDPs for 24 h and biological effects were examined in terms of cytotoxicity, inflammation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related effects, DNA damage and genotoxicity. Reduced cell migration, inflammation and modulation of various PM-associated genes were observed mainly after exposure to wood and pellet. In contrast, only particles from pellet burning induced alteration in cell proliferation and DNA damage, which resulted in cell cycle alterations. Charcoal instead, appeared in general less effective in inducing pro-carcinogenic effects. These results illustrate differences in the toxicological profile due to the CDPs source. The different chemical compounds adsorbed on CDPs seemed to be central for particle properties, leading to an activation of various cellular signaling pathways involved in early steps of cancer progression.