Fire off I-205 leads to evacuation of Government Island - KPTV - FOX 12

Smoke seen for miles from 3-alarm fire on Government Island

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Photo: William Bailey Photo: William Bailey
Photo: Darrell Wyatt Photo: Darrell Wyatt

Nobody was hurt in a three-alarm wildland fire that tore through Government Island Monday.

Fire crews were dispatched to what 911 callers described as "a large field of grass on fire" at 1:20 p.m. By 2:12 p.m., a second alarm was called out and the fire was extended to three alarms at 3:09 p.m.

Video from the Air 12 helicopter showed the fire spreading to bushes and trees on the island, which is located in the middle of the Columbia River just east of the Interstate 205 freeway.

Portland Fire and Rescue boats transported firefighters and equipment to the island, and they requested assistance from Vancouver and Gresham fire departments. At least 80 firefighters worked to control the blaze that had destroyed roughly 20 acres.

The fire was considered under control at 5:45 p.m. Monday. An investigation into the cause is under way.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed the right northbound lane of the Glenn Jackson Bridge for hours to allow crews to work during the fire. Traffic was also affected along Marine Drive and the 42nd Street boat ramp.

Several FOX 12 viewers reported being able to see the smoke plume from several miles away.

Flights at Portland International Airport were not delayed as a result of the nearby smoke. Firefighters said no livestock was harmed, as farmers had already moved the animals out of the area for the summer.

Fire crews remained at the scene Monday evening to monitor embers and put out any spot fires.

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