Houseboats Catch Fire at Popular Destination Lake Powell on Utah-Arizona Line

PAGE, Ariz., (AP) - On Friday, more than half a dozen houses boats caught fire in a popular boating spot on the Utah-Arizona border. Jet skiers and tourists watched as the flames spread before they were put out.

Video from observers shows that the decks of the boats docked in Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell were smoldering as black smoke plumes ascended into the sky above the lake, and the red rocks walls which form its perimeter.

Robert Wilkes, owner of Skylite Houseboat Management said that the fire started in the afternoon and continued to grow for an hour and half. Wilkes, who is a trained firefighter used a garden-hose to put out the fire. He worked with park rangers that arrived shortly after the boats caught fire.

He said, 'I began pulling boats from the dock to create a space so that it wouldn't look like a treeline.'

Lisa Cesaro said that the fire was extinguished on Friday evening and contained. Aramark Destinations maintains the marina.

Cesaro stated that the National Park Service will release information as soon as it is available about the cause of the fire.

Wilkes claimed he was unaware of any injuries, but added that one of the boats owned by his management company had been damaged.

Boaters returned to the marina in the spring after an unusually wet winter raised lake levels, which had been at historic lows. According to the National Park Service, more than two million people boat on Lake Powell every year.

In the past, park rangers have responded to fires on houseboats in several years, including 2022, 2011 and 2015.