A US Bureau of Reclamation employee was injured and transported to hospital following a fire earlier this month in the Grand Coulee project’s John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant which is believed to have been caused by a switch gear failure. Another employee was treated locally for smoke inhalation.

All plant employees were evacuated and smoke was seen rising out of the pump generating plant on 18 November. Response from Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Dam fire department was immediate, and fire departments from Grand Coulee and Electric City also responded in addition to Reclamation fire fighters.

The plant contains six pumps and six pump generators. At the time of the incident, four pumps and five pump generators were undergoing maintenance. The remaining units in the plant were not pumping water into Banks Lake or generating power.

USBR said it will undertake a thorough investigation into the incident.