Fire scarred southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) cross sections from a 1700 ha study site in the Guadalupe Mountains were examined to determine the historic role of fire in the forest. At least 71 fires have occurred on the site since 1554. The mean interval between major fires was 17.4 years for the period 1696-1922. No samples were scarred after 1922. Reduced incidence of fire during the past century coincides with changes in occupancy and use patterns in the mountains.