Montana: possible large fire north of Big Timber

(UPDATE at noon, July 9, 2016)

After we inquired, we heard back from Bruce Suenram, Deputy Chief with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. He said neither his Department or the County are aware of a large fire in this area.

It looks like a major failure by MODIS; 54 false positive fire detections (most of which had a “high” confidence rating) by the fairly new and highly touted Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. The VIIRS 375-meter sensor system on the Suomi-NPP satellite began collecting data late last year.


(Originally published at 9:50 MDT July 9, 2016)

Map Big Timber Fire
Heat detected by a satellite at 1:40 p.m. July 8, 2016.

The MODIS satellite system detected heat Friday afternoon spread over a large area across Highway 191 25 miles north of Big Timber and 12 miles south of Harlowton, Montana. We drew a perimeter around it encompassing over 20,000 acres. It does not show up in the national or regional situation reports.

We are checking to see if this is an actual fire and will update this article if more information becomes available.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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