Satellite photo, wildfires and smoke, September 4, 2017

satellite photo wildfires smoke

The satellite photo above from September 4, 2017 shows smoke created by wildfires. The red dots represent heat on the fires detected by the satellite at 1:05 p.m. MDT September 4, 2017. You can see the smoke streaming away from the fires.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

21 thoughts on “Satellite photo, wildfires and smoke, September 4, 2017”

    1. There are 40 active fires in MT, multiple evacuations, closures, and structures lost. The firefighting budget in MT has been tapped and there’s neither national coverage nor national relief. We’re on our own to weather the smoke and fire. Hoping soon for rain storms without lightning.
      Thank you, Bill, for posting this information! It is next to impossible to find this on any government website, state or federal.

  1. Great shot. I live in southern OR and was talking to my brother in KC. He sent me a pic of the “orange sun” there and I wondered if it was possible the western smoke was reaching Mid America. Seems your composite image confirms this. Here in the Rogue River Valley, and for weeks now (at least since the solar eclipse), this region has simply been a bowl of smoke, thick as fog, very little wind. Really appreciate your web site. Have not found a more current up to date site, even a gov site. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for your reporting. This is about the only site I’ve found that explains the, to me, unprecedented (in the last 50 years) duration, extent, and levels of smoke in the air and throughout the skies. This, ranging from our family’s travels to Oregon (Ashland, Bend, Madras) Aug. 17-22, Northern CA (Weed, Redding, Dunsmuir, Lake County) to our home in Sonoma County, where I could smell the smoke starting Aug. 30, and it’s been like the old “Stage I Smog Alerts” in LA and Riverside, CA in years past. What is going on to produce such absolutely *epic* fires ? Why so many and so huge? Isn’t this a national catastrophe?

    1. Why? Several factors are creating a perfect storm in the Western states. 1. Government mismanagement of wilderness and forest lands, both state and federal, disallowing forest thinning, machinery on land, closing access roads, etc. due to environmentalist policies; 2. Lack of sufficient thinning on both public and private lands; 3. Fire suppression–no controlled burns where it would benefit, again on public and private lands; 4. Improper logging practices, where the small tinder slash is left behind to fuel fires (though so little logging is allowed now, this is not a large problem).

      1. All the perfect management of timber, fuels, policy by the feds, state and local government would not have stopped all of these fires. U have no clue about what your talking about.

  3. great photo! Where do you find images like this? I’m looking for a mapping site that shows the current smoke and for some reason haven’t found one yet.

    thanks!

  4. We have a fire that just broke out yesterday in Mesa Colorado. Western slope Colorado is so smoke filled we can’t we the mountains any more. But the satelight image from the 4th doesn’t seem to look like it. Nor does it have the mesa fire

  5. What about the Rice Ridge wildfire ? I understand from searching that it has merged with the Reef fire . Just this weekend. Where is coverage of this. Montana has been battling this fire plus 50+ more for 2 months at least. People have been evacuated!!!! Where is coverage of this crisis ???????

  6. Our natural resources in the US are just as valuable as our cities. I am puzzled why the national news is NOT covering the Western wildfires… Their coverage of Hurricane Harvey was very extensive. God bless the firefighters on the ground. Homes and businesses can be rebuilt in a much shorter time than it takes nature to refurbish an entire forest. Entire ecosystems are being destroyed and may never return.

    1. Good points, John. But, most people (but not all) do not really care about wildfires unless it directly affects them. However, the photos of dramatic flames and aircraft or people evacuating can sometimes penetrate that indifference.

      A great many people are directly affected by the dense smoke that is streaming across the country. My friend in South Dakota who has respiratory issues is seriously affected by the smoke coming from Montana and other states to the west, and he’s in a house with central air conditioning many hundreds of miles from the fires. There’s talk that some outdoor sporting events may be cancelled. That’s one wildfire related issue that is now getting the attention of many.

    2. Excellent points! Good luck rebuilding all of those homes and businesses, all of the timber needed for lumber is going up in smoke! Thanks for sharing these images.

  7. You are the only site that shows how far east the fire smoke goes.
    As for Montana, most years since 2000 the entire population of western Montana should have been evacuated for months each year. Students at U. MONTANA are finally analyzing what chemicals are in and around thise particulates: deadly.

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