Lightning started the Mustang Complex Fire in northeastern Idaho on July 30, 2012, and soon had consumed more than 330,000 acres of mountainous pine forests in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. By the end of September the U.S. Forest Service announced the fire had been "significantly moderated and rehabilitation is beginning." Still, high winds and extreme drought continue to hamper the efforts of those working to extinguish the flames, and many homes continue to be threatened.
Landsat imagery illustrate the conditions related to the fire. An image acquired on July 21, 2012, shows the area before the fire. A Landsat image acquired on September 7 shows the devastating effects of the still active fire. The imagery are being used to track the growth and moderation of the burn and to monitor the land cover destroyed.