Brush fires burns off Highway 10; nine homes evacuated east of Cle Elum

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CLE ELUM, Wash. -- A brush fire has quickly swept across 40 acres in Kittitas County, spurring Level 3 evacuations along Hart and Durango roads, east of Cle Elum.

Nine homes have been evacuated. The fire is also burning very close to a chimpanzee sanctuary.

First reports of a brush fire burning near milepost 90 on Highway 10 surfaced shortly before 1 p.m.

Almost two dozen firefighters with the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service are working to keep flames from overtaking nearby structures.

At least three helicopters are also responding to the area.

The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says the fire's cause appears to be accidental, sparked after a vehicle towing a boat suffered a blow-out on the highway.

This is a developing news story and will be updated.