The boreal forest is the largest forest region in Canada, occupying approximately 315 million ha. Within this forest region the long-term average annual area burned is 1.3 million ha, with extreme fire years being common, and covering up to 7 million ha in a single fire season. Only 2-3% of those fires that cover more than 200 ha eventually contribute about 98% of the total area burned annually. Careful examination of fire statistics seems to indicate that fire occurrence is increasing in the boreal forest. Boreal forest tree species and ecosystems are adapted to the periodic passage of fire and some would disappear as natural components of the landscape in the absence of fire. Use of fire as a management tool recognizes the natural role of fire and is applied judiciously for ecosystem maintenance and restoration in selected areas. The implications of possible anthropogenically generated climate change are examined within the context of sustainability of the boreal forest biome and the anticipated impact on fire regime and fire management.