First Responders

Firefighters Battle Hoover Dam Blaze

July 19, 2022Carl Prine
Hoover Dam's federal fire brigade quickly extinguished a small transformer blaze that erupted on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Bureau of Land Reclamation photo.

Hoover Dam's federal fire brigade quickly extinguished a small transformer blaze that erupted on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Bureau of Land Reclamation photo.

The black plume of smoke pealing from the Hoover Dam looked dramatic, but federal officials said the minor fire wasn’t that big of a deal.

Bureau of Reclamation officials reported that the A5 transformer caught fire around 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 19, on the concrete arch-gravity dam straddling the Colorado River’s Black Canyon between Arizona and Nevada.

The Hoover Dam Fire Brigade quashed the blaze in less than 30 minutes, before emergency responders from nearby Boulder City even reached the facility.

“We are investigating the cause of the fire and will provide additional updates as they are available,” Jacklynn “Jaci” Gould, the bureau’s Lower Colorado Region director, wrote in an email forwarded to Coffee or Die Magazine.

Hoover Dam fire

A small fire erupted on a Hoover Dam transformer around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. It was quickly extinguished. Bureau of Land Reclamation photo.

Tourist videos of the smoke plume circulated quickly on social media, but Gould and other federal officials said no employees or visitors were injured and there was no risk to the power grid.

Electricity is still being generated from the powerhouse, they added.

Located roughly 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam created the large reservoir, Lake Mead. The dam's generators deliver juice to residents and businesses from California to Nevada.

The mammoth complex draws more than 7 million tourists annually to its sheer concrete walls.

Read Next: Inside the US Coast Guard’s Saltery Coast Rescue

Carl Prine
Carl Prine

Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

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