Decision making to mitigate the effects of natural hazards is a complex undertaking fraught with uncertainty. Models to describe risks associated with natural hazards have proliferated in recent years. Concurrently, there is a growing body of work focused on developing best practices for natural hazard modeling and to create structured evaluation criteria for complex environmental models. However, to our knowledge there has been less focus on the conditions where decision makers can confidently rely on results from these models. In this review we propose a preliminary set of conditions necessary for the appropriate application of modeled results to natural hazard decision making and provide relevant examples within US wildfire management programs.