By Bowman Leigh
Montana Free Press 

How artificial intelligence plus local expertise can promote 'good fire' in Montana 

An emerging risk-based framework called PODs aims to improve firefighter safety, support fire-adapted communities, and get more of the right fire in the right place at the right time. Will it take hold in Montana?


Last updated 10/2/2023 at 10:58am

Sarah Mosquera / MTFP

Kit O'Connor, research ecologist at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, reviews maps used in past PODs workshops at his office in Missoula. Maps like these help to inform where fire managers draw POD boundaries.

On an unassuming hillside in the Lolo National Forest outside Missoula, tall piles of dead branches and hand-thinned small trees dot the forest floor on either side of a winding dirt road. 

It's late August, and Missoula District Ranger Crystal Stonesifer and members of the district's fire management team stand outside their pickup truck and look over the mounds of woody debris, evidence of tr...

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