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Lightning Fires in Montana
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
Several wildfires burned in southeastern Montana on August 24, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite acquired this image. Lightning ignited all of the fires on August 21 and 22.
The Maverick and the Little Fork Fires are being managed together as the Diamond Complex. Together, they have burned 16,300 acres. To the north, the Mill Fire has burned 6,500 acres of forest and grass after starting on August 22.
The Water Hole and Boss Ribs fires are the largest fires in the Black Springs Complex burning near the community of Lame Deer on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. According to local news reports, the fires have burned an estimated 16,000 and 4,480 acres respectively, forcing temporary evacuations.
These fires and others burning in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho are sending waves of smoke east. Smoke is visible over Nebraska and Kansas in the large image, which shows a much wider area. The smoke traveled east across the United States and was of aerosols (particles in the atmosphere) as far east as Baltimore.