A comprehensive understanding of vegetation and fire dynamics and their interactions is important for effective land management in central arid Australia, the majority of which is vegetated with natural and semi-natural (grazed) vegetation. The potential loss of fire-sensitive populations of tree and shrub species and the impact of invasive grasses on fire regimes are of concern. This paper synthesises current knowledge, from published literature and expert opinion, about vegetation–fire interactions in central arid Australia. An initial conceptual framework for vegetation–fire interactions is presented for exploring the relationship between average fire frequency and potential fuel load in different vegetation types. This framework is intended to encourage debate and stimulate further research regarding these issues. The paper also considers the influence of both fire management and other drivers of changed fire regimes, such as climate change and the spread of introduced pastoral grasses, in particular buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris).