PORTLAND – Government Island was evacuated Monday afternoon as wind fanned a fire to 3 alarms and smoke from the fire snarled traffic on nearby roads and the interstate.
Portland firefighters called in help from Gresham and Vancouver fire crews after the grass fire quickly spread due to high winds. About 80 firefighters were fighting the 20-acre blaze Monday afternoon, officials said.
According to a spokesman for Portland Fire & Rescue, 911 callers were describing the scene as “a large field of grass on fire.” A KGW viewer’s photo of the scene showed plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.
Boats were being used to transport firefighters and equipment to Government Island, which lies on the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver.
There were no reports of how many acres were burning.
Police and fire officials asked that people stop calling 911 to report the fire.
ODOT was recommending that drivers use an alternate route and avoid I-205 Monday.
Air travel at Portland International Airport was not affected by the fire.
Evacuation of the island underway. Traffic is affected along Marine Drive/42nd St boat ramp & I-205 both directions. #govtisland— PortlandFire&Rescue (@PDXFire) August 19, 2013
Live Stream: ODOT cam shows wildfire