Culture influences how fire is perceived and managed in societies. An increasing risk of catastrophic wildfire has shifted political and academic attention on the use of Indigenous fire management (IFM) as an alternative to the common fire suppression paradigm. However, what is IFM? Here we conduct a conceptual framework analysis of scientific and scholarly literature to enhance our understanding of this complex global phenomenon. We present the five main concepts of IFM from literature and the relationships between them. This framework contributes to the development of a theory of IFM, examining the ontological, epistemological, and methodological issues within this evolving and dynamic phenomenon.