A fast-moving wildfire burning in the Cle Elum area burned at least two dozen structures on Monday afternoon, officials with Kittitas County Fire District 7 said.
Many more were threatened, including a chimpanzee sanctuary. Diana Goodrich of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest said the fire burned some of the sanctuary property but the chimps were OK and firefighters were protecting the chimp building.
On Monday evening, the Taylor Bridge Fire was estimated at 2,800 acres, The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office said.
Richelle Risdon with Kittitas County Fire District 7 said via Twitter that the fire had jumped over Highway 97. SR97 was closed from Smithson Road to SR970; SR97 closed at SR10, local traffic only. SR970 was open.
Strike teams from Yakima, Selah and other areas were called in to assist with fire/structure protection. East Pierce Firefighters from Western Washington were also called in.
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office said the Emergency Operations Center ordered evacuations for the following areas: Bettas Valley, Swauk Valley, Teanaway, and homes on the westside of SR97 between SR97 and Swauk, SunEast, Upper Reecer Creek, Green Canyon, areas northeast of Ellensburg (specifically homes with no green/defendable space around them).
Fire has been reported to be a half mile to 3/4-mile wide and has jumped Reecer Creek Road, above Smithson Road, the Sheriff's Office said.
An emergency shelter was opened at the Cle Elum Centennial Senior Center, 719 East Third Street, Cle Elum, 509-674-7530. An emergency animal shelter has been set up at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds.
Central Washington University officials say they were asked to take in up to 100 people displaced by the fire.
The Sheriff's Office said the Board of County Commissioners declared a State of Emergency and the fire was declared a State Mobilization fire.
DNR spokesman Mark Grassel said operations will transition from local resources to a Type II Washington Interagency Incident Management Team on Tuesday morning.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.