From the Executive Summary... 'Changes in policies governing fire in publicly-managed recreation areas have generated concern among federal land management professionals about public acceptance. This concern is compounded by the increasing numbers of people engaged in outdoor recreation activities who will encounter implementation of the new policies at the field level. Data drawn from three independent, but coordinated, attitude surveys show, however, that public support of new fire management policies may be greater and more sophisticated than is commonly thought. In particular, the public seems rather knowledgeable about fire effects and tolerant of the effects and risk associated with the use of prescribed fire. Tolerance is, however, dependent upon fire origin and fire intensity. While one-half of the respondents disagreed that lightning caused fires should be allowed to burn and three-fourths disagreed that human carelessness caused fires should be allowed to burn, over two-thirds agreed that managers should periodically burn underbrush and debris. Respondents continued to approve of this use of fire, even at the risk of an occasional escape. Further, while respondents were generally concerned about the impact of fires on recreation areas, over two—thirds also believed fire can have a beneficial effect on forests, and considerable support existed for the presence of light intensity fires in forest areas.'