Fires that started in July continue on in late August in Idaho and Montana. Actively burning areas, detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer's (MODIS) thermal bands, are outlined in red.
The Gold Pan complex fire in Idaho near the Bitterroot National Forest began on July 16, 2013 with a lightning strike. So far 27,000 acres have burned and the fire crews have not yet been able to contain the spread of the fire. Resources on the fire include 17 engines, 4 helicopters, 4 crews, and 4 water tenders (approximately 233 personnel). Unfortunately the terrain in which the fire is being fought is extreme and the growth potential for this fire is extreme as well.
The Lake Complex fire located just to the west of Gold Pan Complex was started August 14 with a lightning strike. Of the six fires that comprised the Lake Complex fire only three remain active. The fire is less than 5,000 acres, however, the fire has demonstrated extreme fire behavior early and grew to 3,372 acres as of late August 18. The Center Fire, six miles east of Sheep Hill Lookout was reported August 13 and has grown to 1,108 acres by August 18. The Spread Fire is at 10 to 15 acres. All fires are likely to grow.
The Lolo Creek fire is located in Montana and began on August 18 with a lightning strike. The Lolo Creek complex was created on August 19th. It is comprised of the West Fork 2 Fire and the Schoolhouse Fire. It is currently 8,600 acres in size and the terrain is difficult making the growth potential for this fire very high.
A new fire is evident in this MODIS image from the Aqua satellite on August 20, 2013. As of yet, this fire does not appear in the Inciweb database. It is most likely a wildfire which began as a lightning strike, but currently no other information is available on this fire.
Explore further: NASA image: Fires plaguing Idaho