Boathouse catches fire at popular destination Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona . route

PAGE, Ariz. –

More than half a dozen houseboats briefly caught fire at a popular sailing destination on the Utah-Arizona route on Friday, catching fire while tourists and skiers stood side by side before the flames were extinguished. .

Boat decks docked at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell smoldered as columns of black smoke rose into the air above the lake and walls of red rock formed its perimeter, video from observers showed.

Robert Wilkes, owner of Skylite Houseboat Management, said the fire started in the early afternoon and spread for about an hour and a half. Wilkes, a trained firefighter, used a garden hose and worked with park rangers, who he said arrived shortly after the boats caught fire, to help put out the fire. .

“I started pulling the boat out of the dock, trying to make some space so it wouldn’t act like a row of trees,” he said.

Lisa Cesaro, a spokeswoman for Aramark Destination, which maintains the marina, said that as of Friday evening, the fire had been extinguished and contained.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation and information will be released by the National Park Service as it becomes available,” Cesaro said.

Wilkes said he had not heard of anyone injured but said one of his management company’s boats was destroyed.

During the spring, boaters brought their ships back to the marina after an unusually wet winter, rising lake levels that had previously hit historic lows. According to the National Park Service, more than two million visitors paddle on Lake Powell annually.

Park rangers have previously responded to houseboat fires several times in recent years, including in 2022, 2015 and 2011.

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