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Contemporary fire literature describes past and present fires in Labrador forests as part of a natural and recurrent disturbance regime, with lightning the primary ignition source in an uninhabited wilderness. However, earlier European observers attributed a much larger role to humans in the fire history of a peopled region. According to their historical written accounts, Indigenous peoples and visitors deliberately used fire to manage plant and animal communities, improve soil fertility, and for signalling. These accounts also frequently mention extensive wildfires accidentally set by the observers themselves. Today, Labrador's peoples continue to work with fire in land management, food preservation, and cultural activities. This review considers how relationships with fire in Labrador, both historical and contemporary, interact with lighting-ignited fires to shape ecological patterns in boreal biota; and posits that understanding cultural contributions to fire histories is critical not only in revising unhelpful narratives about an unpeopled Labrador wilderness, but in navigating the future coexistence of fire and people in a boreal zone that is experiencing climate-driven increases in fire frequency and severity.