What is the North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP)?
The North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP) is a long-term, innovative and successful collaboration among Northern California Tribes, counties, and diverse stakeholders. The NCRP is undertaking a series of spatial analysis assessments with the goal of minimizing the impacts of high severity fire on our communities and resources. Used together, these assessments will inform treatment action and location selection and provide a set of tools for prioritizing fuel treatment projects at the landscape scale. Creating PODs is one of these assessments.
What are PODs?
Potential wildland fire operations delineations (PODs) are polygons whose boundary features are relevant to fire control operations (e.g., roads, ridgetops, and water bodies). PODs are created by local fire experts with the help of analytical tools that highlight landscape features with control potential and provide information on their likely effectiveness. PODs are useful for summarizing wildfire risk and planning strategic responses to unplanned ignitions accordingly. In an operational response context, POD boundaries can be used to guide and communicate choices of where to construct or hold fire lines as well as where to conduct burnout operations. PODs may also prove useful for strategic fuels planning, with potential applications for designing controlled burn units, reinforcing existing POD boundaries, or prioritizing treatment opportunities within PODs. Vetting and mapping POD boundaries essentially formalize and institutionalizes the knowledge of fire management experts. The basic idea of delineating “boxes” within which to manage fire has long been around; the POD concept uses risk-based analytics, ground-truthing, and expert consensus to take that concept much farther and move it into the pre-fire planning world to buy more time.
Why use them?
A basic principle of risk management is to get ahead of problems one may face down the road. Doing so can help reduce time pressure, reduce uncertainty, and expand options – ultimately facilitating safer and more effective responses. The Red Book embraces this idea, describing pre-season preparedness work as a key element of risk management that is critical to success when a fire starts. Pre-fire planning can provide a valuable means for building capacity within the organization, communicating hazards and opportunities with key stakeholders and partners, and sharing risks and responsibilities. The Red Book and the Forest Service Wildland Fire Risk Management Protocols both call for managers to collaboratively “predetermine” response strategies that balance protection of values at risk with firefighter and public exposure. Developing PODs is a good first step to meeting the intent of these requirements. Pre-fire planning with PODs does not make decisions or limit options but instead is intended to provide actionable information and to expand flexibility.
What this workshop will accomplish?
This workshop has several objectives, most of which rely on your expertise:
What is expected of attendees?
We expect all attendees to share knowledge with each other and the facilitators, and to document some of your knowledge by physically drawing PODs on maps that will be digitized later. This will be accomplished in small groups around tables and ask those taking leadership roles to engage other members of their group. We will also be asking for your help in developing a list of values at risk to wildfire, as well as identifying spatial data layers representing those values, for consideration in this effort. Please give some thought to this prior to our meeting to help move through this in an efficient manner. The event will begin on Tuesday, March 1 at 10 a.m., and admission is free. We hope to see you there!
This workshop was funded in whole or in part with California Climate Investments funding granted by the California Natural Resources Agency, Department of Conservation through the North Coast Resource Partnership.