From the text...'Big gaps still exist in the understanding of fire ecology, especially the seasonal aspects. Fire can have profoundly different effects on soil, plants and animals depending on when it occurs. Oftentimes the most ecological gain comes from burning during the natural fire season, when state officials hesitate to set their lands ablaze for fear of wildfire. ...Can prescribed fires serve the same purpose as natural fires? What do we do about lands in urban settings (such as many of those owned by the Nature Conservancy) where liability concerns often prevent managers from letting fires burn? Although we may not have the answers to all of these questions about fire, we've come a long way since the early days of Smokey Bear. 'We're entering a new phase,' says Roy Myers, 'considering whether to relinquish some of our hard-won control over fire by returning to more ecologically appropriate fire regimes.''