The fire management goal in Banff National Park is to maintain or restore, where possible, historical fire regimes. Fire cycles are an important component of a fire regime, and historical fire cycles provide a reference to guide the use of prescribed fire. Weather, climate, vegetation, and ignition are strongly influenced by the extremely rugged topography in the park, resulting in fire cycles that vary spatially. By analyzing a forest stand-origin database, we found that four variables (valley orientation, elevation, aspect, and proximity to the Continental Divide) explained 64% and 70% of the variation of stand-age patterns (i.e., fire cycles) in subalpine and montane ecoregions, respectively. Based on this information, historical fire cycles in Banff National Park were mapped in 50-year fire cycle classes. For each fire cycle class, the areas burned by wildfire and prescribed fires were tabulated and subtracted from the theoretical mean fire activity to determine the fire deficit (or surplus) within each of the park's land management units. These data can help managers to prioritize areas for burning and provide a method to monitor the prolonged effects of prescribed and wildfires through time. © 2004, Tall Timbers Research, Inc.