Prescribed fire is increasingly being considered as a viable management tool by public and private land managers. Fully expanding prescribed fire use in a land management context, where it is an ecologically effective but not commonly applied tool, requires a comprehensive understanding of barriers that limit prescribed fire, especially in working rangelands of the North American Great Plains. While there is an emerging body of work on the perceptions of prescribed fire, there has yet to be a compilation of the research. We present a systematic review of the published literature on the perceptions and attitudes of land managers towards prescribed fire in the Great Plains in an effort to provide a social-ecological perspective on the issue. The aim is to share the methods used to assess social perceptions of prescribed fire in the Great Plains and regional distribution of these studies as well as to identify perceived barriers and limitations that restrict the use of prescribed fire by reviewing studies primarily located in the Great Plains ecoregion and focused on perceptions of fire. Surveys were the most commonly used method to assess social perceptions, with most research concentrated in the southern Great Plains. Barriers included a range of social, informational, practical, and regulatory concerns. This compilation of research synthesizes the current knowledge regarding social perceptions of and potential barriers to prescribed fire use so that fire practitioners and communities considering prescribed fire use for rangeland management have the most current information to make sound decisions.