fire on the selway riverAs some of the most pristine areas of the country---undeveloped, untrammeled, and managed to maintain native ecosystems--wilderness areas have played an invaluable role in the development of wildland fire science. Although the practice of fire suppression has excluded wildland fire from many western forests, some wilderness areas have more closely maintained their natural fire regimes. The Northern Rockies, for example, has several national parks and wilderness areas in which lightning caused fires are often allowed to freely burn with little human interference. These areas provide a tremendous opportunity for understanding the complexity of wildland fire as natural ecosystem process, and for appreciating the social factors that influence the management of wildfire for its beneficial effects. The resources listed here reflect the range of this knowledge.

This hot topic was developed in partnership with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute.