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The interaction between fire and humans has a long history and fire has enabled the persistence of ecosystems and humans alike. Yet, as fires of large magnitudes and frequencies can (and have) destabilized the social-ecological interactions mediated by fire and the processes they support, a novel understanding is needed to create ‘room for the fire’ under the new environmental and social conditions. In this talk I will examine how this can be achieved in fire dependent social-ecological systems. First, I will review the role of fire in ecosystem resilience by taking a closer look at fire adapted Mediterranean type ecosystems. I will show how state-of-the-art technology can help us monitor and understand ecological processes dependent on a fire regime, taking two examples: Portugal and California. I will then explore how social processes and human encroachment in the landscape could have affected these dynamics over time. Finally I will zoom out to fire as a requirement for energy solutions and how this may require a new way of living with fire. All these results require adjusting the way we address fire mediated social-ecological interactions.