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A potentiometer has its power (heating) rated when it is turned to maximum so that its entire resistance track dissipates the heat. When the pot is turned down then only a small part of its track dissipates the heat and then it might burn out.
The rest of the track will act as a heat pipe so the power drop as it approaches it's lowest resistance vs it's highest will not be linear. This can often be avoided by putting an additional resistor inline with the POT so that the minimum resistance is limited and the additional power resistor dissipates most of the heat rather than the POT itself at low values.
In order to do this you need to know the entire resistance range and voltages that the pot will encounter and define your range to value the power resistor.