Fire Management Considerations
Fire management information specific to the management of sweetbay was lacking; however, more generic information on the use of fire in some potential sweetbay habitats was available. Prescribed fire use to re-create or mimic past FIRE REGIMES and to maintain species and community diversity may be difficult in some eastern ecosystems. Severe fire behavior during extremely dry conditions, while important to the establishment and maintenance of some species, is difficult or impossible to control in many vegetation types. In the Big Thicket Region of Texas, Watson  suggests that prescribed fires should mimic natural patterns. Points of ignition should be placed in upland habitats and "allowed to progress and stop where (they) will". This would be possible only if human-valued properties were not in the fire path, which is not likely in most habitats.
In pocosin vegetation on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, prescribed fires are rarely similar to wildfires. Prescribed fires are set when control is easy. Prescribed fires rarely burn deep into peat layers and may not be useful in the facilitation of seed regeneration of some species and/or the maintenance of high diversity . Extreme fire behavior is common in pocosin vegetation and often alters or restricts control efforts, which can be difficult regardless of fire conditions. Dense tangled understory vegetation makes foot travel slow, and a high water table can make areas inaccessible to heavy equipment [129,138]. The potential for extreme fire behavior in sweetbay communities is discussed in Fire behavior.
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