Fire destroys 20 boats at Lake Powell
Some local residents may have lost houseboats moored at Lake Powell after a fire consumed at least 20 vessels late Thursday, according to the National Park Service.
Flames seen shooting from covered slips in the remote Halls Crossing Marina were reported at 11:30 p.m. The fire caused an estimated $5 million in damages and was extinguished by 3 a.m.
Firefighters responding by land and water towed or cut away burning vessels, saving about 130 other boats from the flames, Glen Canyon Superintendent Stan Austin said in a news release.
Officials from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Utah State Fire Marshal’s Office were expected to arrive at the lake Friday. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Electricity is run to the slips.
Grand Junction’s Kurt Weythman of MarineMax, 2490 U.S. Highway 6&50, said he believes some of the boats docked in that area may belong to Grand Junction residents.
“It’s a tremendous loss for all those that had boats on that lot,” he said. “I imagine that everyone that has a boat down there is going to want to replace it. It would be like losing a second home.”
Weythman said families with houseboats generally cap the boating season by spending the Thanksgiving holiday on the lake. The boating season starts again around March 1, but some residents boat there all year long.
Weythman said boats can run from $20,000 to more than $1 million for houseboats and yachts. The burned vessels were probably covered by insurance, he said.
Water levels at Lake Powell last season were higher than they’ve been in years, allowing boaters to explore areas that were inaccessible for the past few years, Weythman said.