The study was exploratory. The researcher utilized participant observation, case study, and interview-discussion methods to gather data. Purposive stratified multi-stage sampling guided initial selection of 103 respondents in 3 groups: kaingineros, school teachers, and government officials. The study is an attempt to explain forest burning from the perspective of the fire-setter. It is the first of a series of investigations that interpret forest burning as a lifeway of a people who inhabit a rugged environment and who possess a unique socio-cultural temperament. Specifically, research focused upon the forest fire-setting behavior of the Ifugao, an ethnic tribe in the Cordilleras, a mountain range in Northern Philippines. This paper reports impacts of socio-culturally sanctioned indigenous forest burning practices the local economy, ecology, and society. Central to the issue of forest burning is the highly institutionalized Ifugao practice of muyung, or inherited private ownership of forests. Muyung greatly complicates governmental efforts to promote forest fire control, sound forest management, and sustainable forest development in Ifugao.