Electrical substation in Oregon burns for hours

A firefighter received minor injuries yesterday (Friday) during a fire at an electrical substation in Hillsboro, Oregon that could be seen from miles away.


Fire erupted at the BPA Keeler Substation Friday afternoon, sending flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air that were able to be seen for miles.

The substation near Hillsboro is situated between Cornelius Pass and Hwy 26. Hillsboro fire officials and BPA personnel said early on the fire was contained and was allowed to burn itself out. After hours of monster flames and smoke, the plume was knocked down around 5 p.m.


Firefighters initially said they wanted to let the fire burn itself out. Later Friday afternoon, however, a Port of Portland truck was called in to cover the flames with foam.

There were reports of explosions just before the fire started, but nobody was on the property and there were no injuries, according to Hillsboro Fire Department spokesman Bruce Montgomery.

Montgomery said a voltage control device was burning at the BPA Keeler Substation, located at 21750 NW Imbrie Drive, near Northwest Cornelius Pass Road.


A fire fueled by mineral oil broke out at a power substation near Highway 26 in Hillsboro Friday afternoon, sending a black plume of smoke high into the Hillsboro skyline.

The fire started around 12:45 at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Keeler Substation near Cornelius Pass Road and Imbrie Drive. 

By about 5 p.m., firefighters mostly had the blaze under control and were beginning mop-up work.

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