Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to
better experience this site.
New Fires in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Clear skies over a large portion of the North American West reveal smoke from forest fires burning in the region. This true-color Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image centered on Montana and Wyoming shows active fires burning in several states.
In Montana, the Fridley Fire in Gallatin National Forest, which
was started by lightning on August 19, continues to burn. The National
Interagency Fire Center reports that the fire is estimated to have
consumed about 24,000 acres as of August 27, and is only 15 percent
contained. MODIS also detected fire north of Flathead Lake in
northwestern Montana, as well as fires in central and southeastern
Along the border between Idaho and Montana, in the dark green forests of the Sawtooth
and Bitteroot mountain ranges, brown-colored burn scars reveal the location of
last years extensive fires.
Yellowstone National Park in the
far northwest corner of Wyoming is also fighting wildfires. According to National Park Service reports, the Sulphur Fire, located north of Yellowstone Lake, was
started by lightning, and had burned about 250 acres as of August 26, 2001. To the south
of the lake is the larger Falcon Fire, which had burned 2,340 acres as of
August 26, with at least 670 of those acres within park boundaries, including
some land that was previously burned in the extensive Yellowstone fires
The large image
shows many of the significant geological, hydrological and
ecological features of the region. At the bottom center of
the image is Utahs Great Salt Lake, with the Salt Lake Desert to the
west. Irrigated land in the Snake River Plain makes a speckled green
crescent across the southern part of Idaho. Against the paler soils of the Plain, ancient lava flows stand out in dark brown. In the upper left, the blue
ribbon of the Columbia River meanders through northeastern Washington.
Running through the images center are the ranges that make up the
Northern Rocky Mountains, whose extreme remoteness and ruggedness gave
rise to place names such as Central Idahos River of No Return
MODIS flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite, launched December 18, 1999.
Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC