To see pictures and video, watch the video above.

A huge plume formed in the sky over East Vancouver, leading many citizens to pull their vehicles over and pull out their smartphones.

About 1:20 pm, August 19, 2013 a large grass fire ignited on Government Island, a 1760-acre island located southeast of Vancouver and accessible only by boat. The Portland Fire Department responded to contain the fire. The blaze quickly spread to larger foliage, between East Vancouver & Oregon’s Marine Drive, causing the fire to be upgraded to a 3 alarm fire. Requests were sent for additional support to Gresham and Vancouver Fire departments. Also, the Port of Portland sent one of their fire boats to help.

I-205 congestion

By 2:33 pm firefighters had completely evacuated the farm located on the island. ODOT and Portland Police had set up traffic control to protect officials coordinating the fire from the I-205 bridge. Traffic on the bridge had slowed down in both directions. Of those watching the fire the most frequent comment heard was,”how did it happen?” 

COUV.COM was first at the scene to capture photos and video.