Last update: October 21st, 2019 at 9:00 am
Wildfires continue to blaze across several western states through September and into early October 2015. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Idaho, Montana and Washington and captured this true-color image of the fires and smoke on September 30.
Multiple red hotspots, each of which indicates an area where the thermal bands on the MODIS instrument detected heat signatures, are scattered across the three states. They cluster most heavily in Montana, and almost all are accompanied by gray smoke plumes. The hotspot accompanied by smoke is diagnostic for actively burning fires.
According to InciWeb, the online Incident Information System, as of October 9 there were 27 active fires burning in Montana, 24 in Washington, and 34 in Idaho. One of the largest is the Grizzly Bear Complex, centered in Washington. As of the latest update on October 7, the fire had consumed 82,659 acres since its ignition by lightning on August 13. It was only 44% contained, with a containment date estimated as October 21.