Uncertainty in Forest Fire Management



embodied uncertainty, forest fire, emergency management


In forest fire management, uncertainties are inherent. One major challenge for forest fire managers is the uncertainty of whether a fire will start at all, where, when and with what effect. In particular, human negligence and arson are unforeseeable. This research focuses on these uncertainties affecting the preparatory practices of forest fire managers in Brandenburg, Germany, and how they are anticipated and dealt with. Qualitative content analysis of expert interviews and focus group discussions generate in-depth insights into the role of uncertainties in the prevention phase and during the control of the event. Findings shows that uncertainties pose barriers to preparatory action. Coping mechanisms rely on individual sensemaking that are in turn influenced by one’s role, knowledge and experience as well as organizational habits and values. Analysis of German firefighters’ perceptions of and coping with uncertainty shows that practices of imagination help to anticipate uncertain futures and to cope with dynamic, complex disasters.


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How to Cite

Tietze, N., Kox, T., Büser, T., & Gerhold, L. (2024). Uncertainty in Forest Fire Management. ISCRAM Proceedings, 21. https://ojs.iscram.org/index.php/Proceedings/article/view/65

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