Data from three separate but related surveys address the linkages between recreation and public perception of attitudes toward fire management. Recreation ranks high among alternative forest resource uses and is a serious concern vis-a-vis fire effects. Public acceptance of new fire-management policies may be greater and more sophisticated than commonly thought. Public knowledge of fire effects and tolerance of light-intensity fires can be increased through use of educational materials. However, there is some evidence that increases in knowledge and tolerance may not affect perceptual judgments of recreational acceptability or scenic beauty. Some recreational activities, particularly camping, show considerable sensitivity to fire effects. New fire-management policies and educational programs will need to account for increasing sophistication in the public's understanding and tolerance of fire, as well as for different impacts that fire may have on various outdoor recreation activities.