Land managers in fire-adapted ecosystems must consider a variety of dynamic and interrelated ecological and societal processes. This is especially true for decisions related to wildfire management, where decision-making is complicated by the compartmentalized nature of land and fire management, and general uncertainty associated with fire weather. The inherently hazardous nature of wildland fire management further underscores the need to improve decision-making tools that can both help reduce risk to incident responders and the public,and account for the interrelated processes. Potential Operational Delineations (PODs), combined with other risk assessment tools, provides a framework that empowers science-informed decision making, improves communication, and facilitates the integration of land and fire management, during both wildfire incidents and preplanning efforts more generally.
This paper examines case studies in northern New Mexico where PODs was used to collaboratively integrate land and fire management objectives into coordinated, risk-informed planning and response.