Fire ecology can be defined as the study of fire as it affects the environment and the interrelationships of plants and animals therein. It is assumed that through natural selection primarily, over long periods of time, plants and animals have developed 'adaptations' that allow them to live where fire is a factor in the environment. Although ecology itself has become well defined and generally understood, fire ecology, like the use of fire by man, has been unduly influenced by an European heritage. When, however, we try to define fire in nature, we get into difficulty because of its varied nature, for fire becomes one thing to some people, and something entirely different to others. It is not only itself extremely variable but these variations are compounded, one might even say, by arithmetical progression by many other variable factors.