A fire regime is often described as the frequency and severity of wildfires in a given area or ecosystem. Forest managers and policy makers are increasingly interested in knowing how these fire regime characteristics (fire frequency and severity) will change under a future climate. However, a necessary first step for predicting future changes in fire regimes is the ability to map current fire regimes. To date, most efforts to map fire regimes have been qualitative, making it difficult to determine the climatic factors driving fire regimes. In a recent study, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute scientists have quantified relationships between climatic variables and both fire activity and severity. These quantitative relationships are being used to map current fire regimes in the western United States and to map the distribution of fire regimes under a future climate. The scientists relied heavily on climate and fire data from wilderness areas and national parks in the western U.S., where anthropogenic influences, such as forest management, are minimal relative to unprotected lands. An unexpected finding of this study was that the relationship between climate and fire weakened as the human footprint increased. This study provides insight into the "natural" relationships between climate and fire and allows researchers to identify areas with disrupted fire regimes that may be in need of restoration.