August 5, 2022 - Large Blazes in British Columbia and Montana

 Elmo Fire (Montana) & Connell Ridge Fire (Canada)

On August 3, 2022, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite captured fires burning in British Columbia, Canada and western Montana, USA.

Hot, dry weather in late spring and early summer has created conditions ripe for wildfire in these areas. According to the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard, on August 4 there were 62 wildfires burning in the province, which was an increase of 22 fires in just the last two days. Maps show that most of the British Columbia fires were concentrated in the Kamloops and South East Region. The number of fires in British Columbia year-to-date was reported as 536, including an increase of 156 new fires in just the last 7 days. The Montana Wildfire Info website enumerates 53 wildfires burning in the state on August 4, with 7 new fires igniting in the last 24 hours. The total numbers of fires this year was 1,007, with 82 of those new this week.

The major fires captured seen in British Columbia is the Connell Ridge Fire. This fire ignited on August 1 about 15 km (9.3 mi) south of the town of Cranbrook, a town in South East BC, tucked between the Kootenay River and the Kootenay Rockies. Burning in difficult territory, the fire has grown to about 850 hectares (2,100 acres) in just three days.

Further south, the Elmo fire was first noticed on the late afternoon of July 29 burning in Elmo, Montana. Elmo is a lightly-populate, census-designated place in Lake County, situated on the shore of Flathead Lake on the Flathead Reservation. By the evening of August 4, the fire had spread to encompass 20,616 acres (8,342 hectares). With 439 personnel involved, the fire has reached only 6 percent containment.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 8/3/2022
Resolutions: 1km (34.6 KB), 500m (126.8 KB), 250m (414.3 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC