Fire is both an integral natural process in the California landscape and growing threat to its urban and suburban developments as they encroach on wildlands. Written by many of the foremost authorities on the subject, this comprehensive volume, an ideal text and authoritative reference tool, is the first to synthesize our knowledge of the science, ecology, and management of fire in California. Part I introduces the basics of fire ecology. It includes an historical overview of fire, vegetation, and climate in California; overviews of fire as a physical and ecological process; and reviews the interactions between fire and the physical, plant, and animal components of the environment. Part II explores the history and ecology of fire in each of California's nine bioregions. Part III examines fire management in California, including both Native American and post-European settlement; discusses current issues related to fire policy and management, including air quality, watershed management, invasive plant species, native species, and fuel management; and considers the future of fire management.