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Billowing Smoke Blankets Montana and Idaho
MODIS Image of the Montana and Idaho wildfires

Thick smoke, billowing from dozens of wildfires throughout Montana and Idaho, blanketed the landscape as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead on Sunday, August 12, 2007, capturing this image.

The gray-brown smoke from the numerous fires, outlined in red, spread across both states. Fires appeared especially active in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area, south of the Salmon River.

According to the August 12 report from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), 31 large fires were burning more than 753,000 acres in Montana and Idaho alone. The NIFC predicts the fire activity to increase in the coming days, as sustained winds of 15-20 miles per hour are forecasted to race across the Great Basin and Northern Rockies.

According to news reports, the fires have forced hundreds to evacuate and closed down highways throughout several western states.

Image Credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response.

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Laura Spector
Goddard Space Flight Center