Sparked by lightning, the Halstead Fire had burned 18,522 acres (7496 hectares) of the Salmon-Challis National Forest by August 3, 2012. The fire is burning in a mixed conifer forest, much of which is dead lodgepole pine. The trees were killed by an insect infestation, likely mountain pine beetles.
This natural-color satellite image shows smoke from the fire streaming east. It was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on August 2, 2012. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Robert Simmon.