PORTLAND – The 3-alarm grass fire that evacuated Government Island on August 19 was caused by fireworks, according to the Portland Fire Bureau.
The fire ignited on Government Island Monday and was contained by firefighters that evening. 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 Monday. About 80 firefighters fought the 20-acre blaze Monday afternoon before containing the fire, officials said.
Investigators were combing over the island, looking for clues as to what caused the fire. Firefighters remained on the island to squelch hot spots.
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.
PHOTO GALLERY: Wildfire at Government Island
Boats were being used to transport firefighters and equipment to Government Island, which lies on the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver.
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.
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