The ability to control fire is universally and exclusively human. The history of that controlled use is also the history of civilization. Indeed, it has been so important to our development that no branch of the hominid family tree has survived without it. While individuals likely recognized the first principles of fire control, it was the rise of organized societies that led to structured activities and, later, products to mitigate the unwanted outcomes of fires. Now, the application of chemicals, manually and by mechanical devices, has become a mainstay of modern society, with a rich history in their development. The evolution of human culture has led to changing definitions of successful fire control and changing acceptability of the various means for effecting that control. We in the year 2000 are the legatees of millennia of this evolution. This paper is a pass through this heritage, indicating the implications for the 21st century and concluding with the author's anticipation of how a 22nd century book on fire suppression might conclude.