[Update: On Aug. 15, Burt was reunited with some of her animals that managed to survive the fire. Watch Meg Coyle's update.]
High winds and heat are hampering efforts to control the fast-moving fire near Cle Elum. Many of those evacuees are seeking shelter in Ellensburg, and the community is stepping up
Evacuee Elaine Burt was sitting with family at Brooklyn's restaurant when she answered the phone call she feared most.
”They're all dead, my house is gone,” she said as she burst into tears. “Those poor little doggies.”
She's lost everything: her home, her beloved animals - all gone.
Burt said she had arrived home to find a firetruck in her driveway. She tried to get into her home to reach her animals but was turned back by firefighters.
"The fireman said I had to not stay there," she said. "He said is there anyone else in your house. I said no, but there's a lot of animals and he said 'I'm sorry, ma'am, but you can't stay here."
“So my house is gone and all my little dogs are dead, all my little puppies, they were in the house, in the porch, and all my mamas and all my big sows, all of them, they're all dead,” she said.
The fire that burns in the Kittitas Valley has forced hundreds from their homes and into temporary shelters.
Munson Dorm at Central Washington University is one of the places offering meals and a place to sleep.
The Holiday Inn Express is the place to go for some of the comforts of home. Dianna Beaulaurer volunteers here even though her own home may be at risk.
“I just really feel like it's the right thing to do,” she said. “I couldn't just sit at home right now and do nothing.”
A community doing more than something - they're giving everything.
“Got the kids involved and went through and picked out some favorite things and see if we can help some of those people out who've been misplaced,” said Beaulaurer.
Elaine Burt can't help but grieve for all she's lost.
“My home, everything I worked for all these years,” she said.
But she's not losing sight of all she still has.
“I have my family.”
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