As an essential process in maintaining grassland structure and function, fire is a necessary component of rangeland restoration. However, the extent to which restoration of fire as process will be successful depends on the capacity and willingness of practitioners and land managers to restore a fire regime appropriate to accomplishing restoration goals. Global change, land-use change, and contemporary management have interacted to shift many rangeland ecosystems past thresholds to less desirable states. Restoration under these conditions requires an understanding of the fire ecology of these new alternative states and a willingness to apply novel fire regimes. This necessitates a challenging pivot in both scientific and management communities toward ecological experimentation designed for threshold detection under a range of conditions outside of the historical range of variation and progressive application of threshold-related fire ecology findings in management.