In preparing for this symposium, discussion inevitably turned to the many facets of wildfire in the subarctic which should be considered - material, philosophical, economic. Is fire detrimental to the environment? 'Are the practices which you employ in controlling wildfires (physical and chemical) affecting the quality of our environment?' We have a big job to do in creating an awareness of the costs of fire control and in working to design land uses to reduce fire control cost and risks. The symposium has provided the opportunity for us to be brought up-to-date on the state of knowledge of the effects of fire in the northern environment. Although an excellent start has been made, it is also quite apparent that the available knowledge on the subject is very limited. We have only begun to penetrate what is a very complex ecological relationship. Thus the need is very obvious for continued and expanded research.