Red pines (Pinus resinosa Ait.) in northern New England exist within small islands of fire-prone habitat surrounded by relatively nonflammable, deciduous forest. We studied the fire history and age structure of six red pine stands at an upland site in northwestern Vermont. Red pine is dominant in the canopy but rare in seedling and sapling size classes. Red pine is usually dependent on fires for regeneration. Fire scars record at least 17 different fires in the study area between the early 1800s and 1922. No fires are recorded between 1922 and 1987. The survival of numerous saplings in burned stands indicates that most of the fires were light surface fires. At least eight fires preceded periods of red pine recruitment recorded by the ages of living trees. These fires were probably locally intense, tree-killing fires. A similar regime of frequent, nonlethal fires and infrequent, lethal fires occurs in other parts of red pine's range.