How destructive or beneficial are forest fires to wildlife? Should we be trying to reduce or increase the amount of fire in forests? How are forest fires controlled, and why does this sometimes fail? What effect will climate change have? These and many other questions are answered in this richly illustrated book, written in non-technical language. The journey starts in the long geological history of fire leading up to our present love-hate relationship with it. Exploring the physics of how a single flame burns, the journey continues through how whole forests burn and the anatomy of firestorms. The positive and negative ecological effects of fires are explored, from plants and wildlife to whole landscapes. The journey ends with how fires are controlled, and a look to the future. This book will be of interest to ecologists, biogeographers and anyone with an interest in forest fires and the role they play.