Clouds of smoke darken the skies as a large fire burned on the property of a nursery in Pitt Meadows.

The fire broke out around 3 p.m. on Woolridge Road near the Pitt Meadows airport, sending large plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen in parts of Metro Vancouver.

Fire Chief Mike Larsson told CTV News the blaze started as a generator fire then the flames spread to pallets and Styrofoam to the property.

"It made the fire spread really fast and it created the black smoke you were seeing from miles around," he said.

He said the nursery has a machine that melts the Styrofoam containers down to condense them and that equipment had a malfunction, which caused the blaze.

The fire then jumped a trench, igniting grass on a few neighbouring properties, Larsson said.

Crews had a difficult time accessing the fire and had to run a lot of hose to get to the flames.

An environmental team will be brought in to assess any concerns.