This visible light/infrared composite image over Montana and Idaho was
acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on Aug.
23, 2000. The image shows the locations of actively burning wildfires (red
pixels) and the thick shroud of smoke they produced (grey-blue pixels).
There were 57 wildfires burning across both states. A single MODIS image
can be up to 2,330 kilometers wide, allowing fire scientists to monitor
a much larger area than can be covered on the ground or by aircraft.
Also, because MODIS has detectors that are sensitive to thermal infrared
wavelengths of 3.70 and 3.90 micrometers, it can detect fires on the
surface even through heavy smoke.
More than a dozen large fires (some of them fire complexes that included more than one fire) were burning in Idaho and Montana on September 12, 2007. Fires have been burning in these areas since late July.