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Table 2 Proposed uncertainty matrix. This tool helps identify different response options according to the analysis of uncertainty

From: Empowering strategic decision-making for wildfire management: avoiding the fear trap and creating a resilient landscape

ObjectiveMethod used to achieve objectiveWeaknessWays to build strength
Maintain safetySafety proceduresUnpredictable changes of fire behavior when safety that is based on standard operating procedures fail.Identify known sources of unpredictable situations when safety can be compromised (e.g., possible plume collapse, downbursts).
Must assume the cost of choosing a predictable scenario of resolution for maneuver level over a scenario that reduces known risks.
Maintain capacity to respond (organizational resilience)Tight control of a large number of resourcesDefense of all values at risk leads to no capacity to respond to new threats.Identify when it is acceptable that the opportunity cost of defending a value may lead to losing the capacity to respond (e.g., protecting one house and letting the fire burn more wildland until it threatens five more houses).
To maintain organizational resilience, the strategic level should focus on opportunities for the whole scenario, not only for the maneuver level. The cost of both, what is done and what cannot be done, must be considered.
The tactical level then focuses on maximizing organization resilience, allowing the maneuver level to focus on protecting values at risk.
Maintain initiative and build trust (leadership)Prioritize according to known risk and defend values with higher probabilities of damageThe decisions made by the firefighting services impact the evolution of the scenario and lead to new mid- and long-term threats and uncertainties. While defending lives and assets under a known, certain risk, firefighting services lose other values from uncertain threats.Analyze and act to reduce possible final damages. The strategic level maps future landscapes by prioritizing the identification of triggers of uncertainty that can cause more damage.
The strategic decisions frame the decision-making of the tactical level.
Agreement with society on values that will survive, based on common good, and on tomorrow’s landscape.