Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moses Lake Fire

A grass/brush fire in north Moses Lake destroyed one home on July 4th. The fire was very near an associates parents' home. I took a look at Google Earth to get a sense of where the fire burned and found that a previous fire showed up very clearly in the satellite image of the area.

Scorch pattern from brush and grass fire north of Moses Lake

The fire in the satellite image was smaller than the more recent fire but damaged and destroyed several homes.
The area is a large flood way channel from the Missoula Floods downstream of the Grande Coulee the former route of very large volumes of flood waters. The area is underlain by cobbles and boulders and is excessively well drained with poor soil and hence has not been irrigated like areas to the west, south and east.
The northern arm of Moses Lake can be seen in the left portion of the photo. The lake is located within the deepest flood way channel. Additional flood way channel scarps are evident in the photo including the dark line from the lower right in the photo to the upper center border of the image.
Moses Lake formed when a dune field blocked the flow of Crab Creek and Rocky Creek approximately 5,000 years ago and the water backed up into the deeper flood way channels. The dune field is still present south of Moses lake although most of the dunes are inundated by water from the O'Sullivan Dam and Potholes Reservoir.


Sam Crawford said...

Dan, Here's a cool little video you'll like.


Sam C.

Dan McShane said...

Thanks Sam. I did enjoy it.