Fire plays a critical role in biodiversity, carbon balance, soil erosion, and nutrient and hydrological cycles. While empirical evidence shows that fuel reduction burning can reduce the incidence, severity and extent of unplanned fires in Australia and elsewhere, the integration of environmental values into fire management operations is not well-defined and requires further research and development. In practice, the priority for fuel reduction burning is effective mitigation of risk to life and property. Environmental management objectives, including maintenance of high quality water, reduction of CO2 emissions and conservation of biodiversity can be constrained by this priority. We explore trade-offs between fuel reduction burning and environmental management objectives and propose a framework for optimising fuel reduction burning for environmental outcomes. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.