The alarming loss of forested areas containing red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) in eastern Canada is a situation that must be addressed promptly by changing management approaches. Since the ecological role of fire in the regeneration and perpetuation of these pines is well known, it makes sense to use fire to maintain pine ecosystems through forest management that uses an understory prescribed burn program. Fears of fire escape and a poor knowledge of applying fire correctly to these ecosystems are the result of poor training in the use of prescribed fire, which normally concentrates solely on post-harvest slash sites; this has prevented extensive use of understory prescribed burning in the past. However, research in Canada, principally using the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System, allows forest managers to develop burning prescriptions that are safe and economical while meeting objectives for seedbed preparation, natural seeding and control of competing vegetation. © The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut Forestier du Canada. Abstract reproduced by permission.