On Tuesday, an explosion was seen outside the Hoover Dam and black smoke was seen pouring out from where it happened due to a fire. The video was caught on tape by a dam tourist named Kristy Hairston.
“My goodness, something’s just blown up,” a woman on the video can be heard saying. A male quickly responds and notes the explosion as well.
Luckily, it did not last long and an account for Boulder City, Nevada, tweeted that the fire was extinguished before the local fire department even showed up.
According to the Bureau of Reclamation, which runs the Hoover Dam said that a transformer caught fire and was then put out by the Reclamation/Hoover fire brigade after only burning for 20 minutes.
Another view of the explosion was caught on Tik Tok.
“There are no injuries to visitors or employees,” spokesperson for the Bureau of Reclamation Michelle Helms told Fox News . “There is no risk to the power grid and power is still being generated from the powerhouse. We are investigating the cause of the fire and will provide additional updates as they are available.”
The Hoover Dam is a renowned tourist attraction constructed between 1920 and 1936 and sits on the Black Canyon of the Colorado River which snakes between Nevada and Arizona. It’s the tallest concrete arch dam in the United States and one of the largest in the world.
The dam also backs up water into Lake Mead, one of the nation’s largest man-made reservoirs, that serves water to Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado and Nevada and parts of Mexico. It serves nearly 20 million people with fresh water. The dam also generates 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power for use in Nevada, Arizona, and California.
“It’s my understanding it was probably a piece of equipment that wore out,” said Doug Hendrix, Deputy Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation. “Certainly on the transformer side of the power plant, you have little more static electricity, and power moving, so you have the potential sometimes for static or warmer temperatures in that part of the equipment. But we have a lot of fire suppression equipment and redundant capability to put that out very quickly.”
“Our people were very quick to react,” said Hendrix. “Maintenance crews are there, working 24-seven down here… The fire was very isolated to that unit on the Arizona side.”
Employees said that an alarm went off when it happened, but thankfully no one was hurt. Officials are investigating what caused the fire. Tourists were still able to tour the damn for most of the day on Tuesday and business returned to normal.
It’s great that this emergency was handled so quickly and that no employees or tourists were hurt. It just goes to show you that anything can happen at anytime and you can’t prepare for everything. Have you seen the Hoover Dam? It’s an incredible structure and good thing that it was not harmed in the fire because of it’s importance to the entire west coast.