Fires disrupt Ice Harbor Dam operations

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BURBANK — Two small fires caused a shutdown of the power house at Ice Harbor Dam on Thursday.

Corps officials said the fires occurred about 9 a.m. inside two electrical cabinets. There were no injuries.

Three generators that were producing electricity at the time were stopped. As of today, two generators have been brought back on line and work is continuing on two other units, said Gina Baltrusch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public affairs specialist.

An investigation into the cause of the fires is continuing and no estimate of damages has been made, Baltrusch said.

At the time of the incident, Ice Harbor Dam staff took action to suppress the fires and firefighters with Walla Walla County Fire District No. 5 responded to the alarm as well.

Backup power for operations restored basic facility power within 30 minutes and the dam’s navigation lock was returned to service at 12:40 p.m. on Thursday.

Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. Andrew Kelly thanked local firefighters who responded to the alarm.

“We really appreciate the prompt response of Walla Walla County Fire District No. 5,” Kelly said. “It’s great to know there are skilled emergency staff nearby to help out if we need them.”

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