Postfire vegetation development was studied at two recent mountaintop burns in the Serra do Caparaó, Espírito Santo/Minas Gerais, and the Serra dos Órgãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both fires occurred within the páramo-like “campos de altitude”, a system of orographic grass- and scrublands restricted to the highest peaks of southeast Brazil. Data collected included pre- and postfire heights and densities of shrubs and trees, and cover of all taxa. Slopes of different aspect and altitude were sampled at each site to evaluate the effects of varying physical environment on regeneration. Rapid vegetative regeneration was common among shrubs and bamboo, with most taxa surviving fire. Regeneration and postfire colonization rates varied among species, and appeared to depend both on physical variables associated with different slopes, aspects and altitudes, and biotic variables. Most plant species in the campos de altitude show some form of evolutionary adaptation to fire. The distribution of species and plant populations across the landscapes of the campos de altitude appears to be largely the result of fire and its interactions with the biota, local topography, and climate. Results suggest that fire is an integral part of the ecology in these humid, seasonally dry ecosystems. Successful management of these unique and highly threatened systems requires a detailed understanding of the fire regime and its role in structuring biotic communities.