Indigenous and traditional peoples worldwide have used fire to manipulate their environment for thousands of years. These long-standing practices still continue and have considerable relevance for today's land managers. This discussion explores the value of documenting and understanding historic and contemporary fire use attitudes and practices of the varied cultural/ethnic groups that interact with land managers concerning fire and fuels management in the American Southwest. Current research with historic records and present-day communities is reviewed. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd.