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Picture of the Day: West Riverside, Montana Wildfire
Sep 14 2011
Earth Science Picture of the Day
By Josh Birnbaum; Jim Foster
The photo above shows a view of a wildfire that’s scarred more than 3,000 acres near West Riverside, Montana. It began on August 21, 2011, perhaps as a result of a lightning strike, but the exact cause is yet to be determined. More than 500 fire personnel worked to extinguishing it -- finally did so in the last days of August. As with most all mountain fires, its suppression was a challenge because of the rough, steep terrain and gusty winds. Since the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest areas of the U.S. have been rather wet and cool this summer, the focus of this season’s wildfires is likely to be in the tinder dry southern Great Plains. Below is a ground view of the fire in late August.