Fire research began on the Fort Valley and Long Valley Experimental Forests in the mid 1970s. The U.S. Forest Service and other agencies in the Southwest (BIA and state) had been utilizing prescribed fire to reduce piled hazardous fuels from harvesting. Most managers had not viewed the use of prescribed fire to reduce natural fuels on a broad scale positively. The use of rotational prescribed burning has been investigated for over 30 years to determine the long-term effects of the reintroduction of this natural event. This paper summarizes the events that led up to the establishment of this long-term research project and general findings resulting from this work.