More Smoky Days — Why?

When we drove from Billings to Great Falls, Montana on Friday, the entire drive was very smoky. Visibility was significantly reduced. We probably missed some interesting scenery.

We’re hitting the road again today and it looks like it is going to be another smoky day.

So what is the cause of all these fires out here in the west?

2007-09-03a.jpgI suspect that most people believe that they are caused by the carelessness of humans. However, according to the National Forest Service online active fire maps, most are caused by lightning.

In planning where we are going to go next, the Forest Service’s Remote Sensing Applications Center web site has been very useful, though, of course, it is intended primarily for official fire management use.

When you click on the location of each fire, it gives the name, size, status, and other information for the fire, including cause, where known.

Regional fire maps are also available. Using one of them we were able to determine that the closest fires to us are about 80 miles away.


The winds today are such that we’re probably going to be in smoke all day.

on the road, travel, travel journal, Uncategorized, weather, wild fires

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • teeni Sep 3, 2007

    That web site with it's maps is an awesome resource. I'm glad to know that many of the fires are NOT due to human carelessness. It doesn't make the fires go away any easier, but for some reason makes me feel a little better.

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