VIDEO: Large fire burns house boats at Lake Powell marina

A massive fire burned several houseboats at the Lake Powell marina and grew for about an hour and a half.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 4:38 PM MST
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LAKE POWELL, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -- Fire crews have put out a large fire that engulfed several boats at the Lake Powell marina on Friday afternoon. The blaze started at the B Dock at Wawheap Marina. Video shows heavy black smoke and flames covering some boats docked and several floating in the water. Officials say between 10 to 12 boats have burned so far. It’s unclear what sparked the flames or if anyone was hurt.

Robert Wilkes, the owner of Skylite Houseboat Management, said the fire began in the early afternoon and grew for about an hour and a half. Wilkes, a trained firefighter, used a garden hose and worked with park rangers, who he said arrived soon after the boats ignited, to help put out the fire. “I started pulling boats off the dock trying to create a gap so it didn’t act like a tree line,” he said. Wilkes added he had not heard of anyone injured but said one of his management company’s boats had been destroyed.

Video from Heather Rankin shows the heavy black smoke and flames covering some boats docked at the marina.

Throughout the spring, boaters have returned their vessels to the marina after an abnormally wet winter elevated lake levels that had previously hit historic lows. More than two million visitors go boating on Lake Powell annually, according to the National Park Service. Park rangers previously responded to houseboat fires several times in recent years, including in 2022, 2015 and 2011.

Aramark Destinations, who manages the marina, released a statement following the fire.

Arizona’s Family has contacted National Park Service for further information.

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