Explosion, fire reported at Hoover Dam

The fire was quickly extinguished by the fire brigade without any injuries or interruption to the power grid, the US Bureau of Reclamation said.

 Firefighters pour water on electrical transformer equipment at the Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nevada, US July 19, 2022. (photo credit: Bureau of Reclamation/Handout via REUTERS.)
Firefighters pour water on electrical transformer equipment at the Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nevada, US July 19, 2022.
(photo credit: Bureau of Reclamation/Handout via REUTERS.)

An explosion and fire were reported at the Hoover Dam on Tuesday after a transformer exploded, according to local media reports.

Video reportedly from the scene showed a cloud of smoke billowing from the Arizona turbine hourse, with sirens sounding at the scene shortly afterwards.

The Boulder City municipal Twitter account tweeted that the fire was extinguished before the Boulder City Fire Department arrived at the scene.

The fire at the dam's A5 transformer started around 10 a.m. local time (1700 GMT) and was put out by the Reclamation/Hoover fire brigade within half an hour, the bureau said.

 A view of a fire at Hoover Dam on the border between Nevada and Arizona, US, July 19, 2022, in this still image obtained from a social media video. (credit: William Herro/via REUTERS) A view of a fire at Hoover Dam on the border between Nevada and Arizona, US, July 19, 2022, in this still image obtained from a social media video. (credit: William Herro/via REUTERS)

"There are no injuries to visitors or employees. There is no risk to the power grid and power is still being generated from the powerhouse," the statement said.

The dam, completed in 1936, sits on the Colorado River at the Nevada-Arizona border and impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. It is crucial to the water supply of 25 million people including in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.

Water levels in Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the dam, are at historically low levels due to exceptional drought in much of the surrounding area, which was also experiencing extreme heat on Tuesday.

Boulder City, about 8 miles (13 km) from the dam, recorded a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius) as midday approached with a real feel of 110 F (43 C), according to AccuWeather.com.