Four Houseboats Destroyed By Fire At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Firefighters employ the park’s new fireboat to put out flames on a burning houseboat. NPS photo by Mark Runia.

A fire at the Wahweap Marina at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area destroyed four houseboats and one other watercraft, but 40 other vessels were saved by firefighters, according to NRA officials.

It is believed the houseboats were unoccupied at the time, the officials said Thursday.

The marina fire was reported just after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Among the responders were park rangers who used the NRA's recently acquired fireboat to help battle the flames, said Glen Canyon Superintendent Todd Brindle.

By the time the rangers reached the marina, four private houseboats moored on “O” dock
were engulfed in flames, the park reported. With help from the Page and Greenehaven fire departments, the fire was contained by 5:04 p.m.

Fire personnel used the fireboat to both fight the fire and tow the burning vessels out from their slips in the marina, preventing the spread of the fire to other vessels, park officials said. The cause of the fire was under investigation by the National Park Service in conjunction with Coconino County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office.

Along with the five vessels that were destroyed, a fifth houseboat sustained damage to about 30-50 percent of its structure. Multiple fingers on the “O” dock sustained very heavy damage, according to NRA.

A preliminary estimate by park concessioner Aramark approximates damage to the houseboats and dock at $1 million. A quick response time to the fire prevented damage to adjacent vessels on the dock.

“We commend the collaborative efforts of our Park Service staff, Page Fire Department, and Greenehaven Fire Department for their quick response to this emergency and for saving so many vessels,” said Superintendent Brindle. “Glen Canyon is fortunate to have such an advanced structural fire program in place to respond to marine fires. The new fireboat performed phenomenally and was a key factor is containing the fire safely and efficiently. Without the dedication and expertise of our fire responders, this fire would have been even more devastating.”

The burned vessels were transported to the Wahweap launch ramp. At this time, the Wahweap launch ramp is closed to the public. The Stateline launch ramp has been opened for public use.