From the Introduction ... 'In 1970, within the International Biological Program (IBP), the National Science Foundation established the Coniferous Forest Biome research organization. The overall goal of the Biome program was the analysis of the structure and function of western coniferous forest ecosystems. As a part of this endeavor, the Fire Ecology Project was established in 1973.The general objective of the Fire Ecology Project has been to conduct an analysis of problems on the natural role of fire in the functioning of western coniferous forest ecosystems. This paper presents a part of the problem analysis. Specific objectives were to survey the opinions of environmental scientists and land managers as to specific fire ecology problems, to evaluate the literature on ecologic effects of fire, and to use these two categories of information in the design and computer implementation of system models as an approach to problem solutions.Such models are sets of quantitative statements representing dynamic processes in landscape ecosystems. These sets of statements can be programmed on an electronic computer and can be used to imitate various ecosystem responses to changes in such quantitative fire attributes as fire periodicity, fire intensity, amount of fuel reduction, burn-area size, shape, and location.'