From the book jacket...'From prehistory to the present-day conservation movement, Stephen J. Pyne's narrative explores the efforts of sucessive American cultures to master this forbidding kind of fire and to use it to shape the landscape. He draws not only on academic experience but on fifteen summers as a forest-fire fighter, twelve as crew foreman, on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Discussing nine historical fire regimes as exemplified by nine geographical regions, he analyzes a vast amount of previously unexploited information on the history of fire and relates it to current fire control policy. Showing how the fire regimes began under the influence of American Indian activities, the author describes the Indians as skilled managers whose fire practices prepared the way for the European settlers who displaced them. He then traces the evolution of the regimes from frontier days to the present, including policies, administrative histories of the major agencies, equipment, manpower, and scientific research. For the first time, fire has been brought to history.'