Measures of understory burning activity in and around FIA plots in northeastern Florida were not significantly associated with reduced burning probability in the extreme fire season of 1998. In this unusual year, burn probability was greatest on ordinarily wetter sites, especially bald cypress stands, and positively associated with understory vegetation. Moderate amounts of lightning also were associated with greater burning probability. Factors associated with reduced burn probability included road density and nearby requests for site preparation or seed tree burns, perhaps a proxy for other intensive forest management practices. Alternative tactics may prove more effective than fuel reduction in extreme years.