Problems, paradoxes, paradigms: triangulating fire research
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): S. J. Pyne
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • anthropogenic fire
  • biology of fire
  • combustion
  • culture of fire
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fragmentation
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel management
  • human caused fires
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45979
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21619
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Wildland fire research has historically orbited around a physical paradigm of fire. This strategy has yielded remarkable results, yet increasingly it cannot speak to the core issues that concern fire management. Two additional paradigms are needed. One would build on fire's origins in the living world. The other would evolve out of fire's significance to humanity, and humanity's unblinking importance to fire's presence on Earth. Note that each paradigm is coherent in itself, that each is capable of absorbing the others, and that each is insufficient on its own. It is unlikely that a master synthesis of these conceptions will emerge, and is not necessary. The need is to sustain research that addresses how fire really exists, not how select sciences can handle it. This essay sketches what the resulting fire-research triangle might look like. © IAWF 2007. Reproduced from the International Journal of Wildland Fire (Stephen J. Pyne, 2007) with the kind permission of CSIRO PUBLISHING on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire.

Online Link(s):
Pyne, S. J. 2007. Problems, paradoxes, paradigms: triangulating fire research. International Journal of Wildland Fire, v. 16, no. 3, p. 271-276. 10.1071/.