[from the text] Regions of the world with a Mediterranean climate, such as South Africa, southern Australia, California, and countries around the Mediterranean Sea, are noted for frequent and devastating wildfires. The economic and environmental costs of these fires are tremendous. In 1970, for example, a single wildfire in California burned for 13 days, scorched more than a half-million acres, killed 16 people, destroyed 722 homes, and cost more than a quarter of a billion dollars in direct suppression costs and structural losses. Approaches to controlling wildfires have varied. Some areas have no control policies. Others have management policies ranging from total fire exclusion to controlled burning to fuel manipulation. The environmental costs of these management possibilities have never been fully assessed. In those areas where a clear policy is evident, it may not be carried out because of social or fiscal constraints, or because of lack of information transfer between researchers and resource managers.