Anthropogenic fires in Indian forests probably date back to the arrival of the first people on the Indian subcontinent. Fires were used to clear areas for habitation, and quite likely, to facilitate hunting. People continue to use fires today for several reasons. Very frequent fires can result in soil degradation. Such frequently disturbed, degraded landscapes may be vulnerable to invasion by exotic species. Elevated levels of disturbance can result in an increased availability of space and resources that could be preempted by invasive species. We hypothesise that there may be a positive feedback between contemporary fires in Indian forests and invasion by Lantana camara, leading to a fire-lantana cycle analogous to the invasive grass-fire cycle seen in other parts of the world.