Wildland fire is a major disturbance in most ecosystems worldwide (Crutzen and Goldammer 1993). The interaction of fire with climate and vegetation over long time spans, often referred to as the fire regime (Agee 1993; Clark 1993; Swetnam and Baisan 1996; Swetnam 1997), has major effects on dominant vegetation, ecosystem carbon budget, and biodiversity (Gardner et aL 1996; Lenihan et aL 1998; Ryan 1991; Starfield and Chapin 1996). These effects include cycling nutrients, regulating succession, maintaining diversity, reducing biomass, controlling insect and disease populations, triggering interactions between vegetation and animals, and maintaining important biological and biogeochemical processes (Johnson 1992; Agee 1993; Crutzen and Goldammer 1993; DeBano et al. 1998). Carbon cycles are intimately linked to fire regimes because of the accumulation and combustion of fuel and post-fire vegetation development (Kasischke et al. 1995; Olsen 1981). Fire has sculpted landscapes for millennia by dictating pattern dynamics and community composition (Knight 1987; Swanson et al. 1997).