Common problems associated with optical spectroscopic measurements in metallized fireballs are discussed. These problems include optical depth, spatial averaging, and unknown emissivity variation with wavelength and temperature. In particular, the interpretation of AlO emission intensity as a measure of Al reactivity is challenged through a controlled experiment. Alternatives to external optical probes are presented including internal fiber optic probes for emission spectroscopy and broadband dye laser absorption for quantitative spatially and temporally resolved intermediate quantification. Finally, emission results from the Δv = -2 band sequence of AlO B-X are presented, and this sequence is proposed as a possible means to sensitively determine fireball temperatures via emission spectroscopy.