June 1, 2014
(25 July 2010) --- Dominic Point Fire in Montana is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. Lightning strikes in the forested mountains of the western United States, and human activities, can spark wild fires during the summer dry season. The Dominic Point Fire was first reported near 3:00 p.m. local time on July 25 2010. Approximately one hour later, the space station crew photographed the fire's large smoke plume -- already extending at least eight kilometers to the east -- from orbit as they passed almost directly overhead. Forest Service fire crews, slurry bombers and helicopters were on the scene by that evening. The fire may have been started by a lightning strike, as there are no trails leading into the fire area located approximately 22 kilometers northeast of Hamilton, MT (according to local reports). As of July 26, 2010 the fire had burned approximately 283--405 hectares of the Bitterroot National Forest in western Montana. The fire is thought to have expanded quickly due to high temperatures, low humidity, and favorable winds with an abundance of deadfall -- dead trees and logs that provide readily combustible fuels -- in the area.
Topics: Disaster Accident, Environment, Ecological succession, Meteorology, Atmospheric sciences, Bitterroot National Forest, Aerial firefighting, Lightning, Fire, Wildfire, Wildland fire suppression, Occupational safety and health, Montana