Fire at Hoover Dam extinguished, cause still unknown
A fire at the Hoover Dam’s Arizona powerhouse was quickly extinguished on Tuesday morning.
A transformer at the dam’s hydropower plant caught fire around 10 a.m. Pacific time, and was put out by firefighters half an hour later.
The fire did not injure any visitors or employees, according to a release from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that operates the dam and power station.
In a video posted to Twitter, a transformer near the base of the dam can be seen releasing a large plume of black smoke shortly after catching fire.
The Hoover Dam’s power station generates power for 1.3 million people across Nevada, Arizona and California. Hoover Dam straddles the border of Nevada and Arizona. It was completed in 1936, turning a section of the Colorado River into Lake Mead – the nation’s largest reservoir.
The dam and reservoir have been the subject of national attention in recent years, as prolonged drought has sapped the region of its water and brought Mead’s water levels to historic lows. Power production at the dam has been reduced as levels have dipped.
KUNC’s Luke Runyon contributed reporting.
This story is part of ongoing coverage of water in the West, produced by KUNC in Colorado and supported by the Walton Family Foundation. KUNC is solely responsible for its editorial coverage.