From the Introduction ... 'This chapter reviews the record of past and present North American boreal fire regimes at various time scales and how the relate to both climate and vegetation. From this review, we draw some possible conclusions regarding possible future fire regimes and their likely linkages with forest structure and carbon storage over longer time scales.' Conclusions ... 'Two themes recur throughout this review: (1) an increase in warm dry weather may lead to an increase in fire; and (2) an increase in conifers, whether prompted by warmer and drier or cooler and moister climate, may also lead to an increase in fire. Thus the picture that emerges is of a more complex, dynamic system than is often assumed. Future warming may cause a decrease in conifers and hence fire in some regions, particularly in the southern boreal forest. In areas where the abundance of conifers is expected to remain relatively unchanged, the warmer climate, if also drier, will probably lead to an increase in fire activity. Similarly, at the northern margin of the boreal forest, where warming is expected to lead to an increase in conifer densities, fire may also increase.' © 2000 Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.