Today's prescribed fire program manager is confronted with an increasingly complex dilemma. On the one hand, the science, knowledge, and commitment of managers regarding the role of prescribed fire across the landscape have grown appreciatively, only to be tempered by societal and political constraints in the form of policy, regulations, and rule making. These changes affect all prescribed fire practitioners regardless of organizational affiliation. This dilemma may be characterized as the conflict between the 'ecological imperative' to burn versus the juggernaut of public and political influences against burning. This presentation will summarize the changing world of prescribed fire and offer perspective for successful engagement actions for the future. © 2000, Tall Timbers Research, Inc. Abstract reproduced by permission.