Numerous wildfires raged in central Idaho when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite acquired this image on September 13, 2012. Smoke lingered within steep valleys throughout the region, and numerous thick plumes of smoke streamed east toward Montana. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.
By September 11, more than 1,529,715 acres (619,054 hectares) had burned in Idaho—more than any other state in the nation. By August 29, more than 8,392,209 acres (3,396,206 hectares) had burned throughout the United States in what has proven to be one of the most severe wildfire seasons in the last decade.