Firefighters contain brush fire near Cle Elum, no structures lost

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CLE ELUM, Wash. -- Fire crews have fully contained the Hart Road Fire in central Washington's Kittitas County.

Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Debbie Robinson said there is still a lot of heat and heavy snags in the fire that's burning just less than a square mile of brush and timber about 5 miles east of Cle Elum.

Authorities hope to have the fire completely extinguished by Sunday evening. Strong winds are expected in the region for the next few days.

At one point, nine homes in the area were evacuated and portions of SR 10 were closed because of the fire.

The wildfire also burned an area of land near a chimpanzee sanctuary.

Sunday morning, a spokesperson for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest said all seven animals appeared to be in good spirits and were calm.

The building is still without power, but they have a working generator.

DNR said homeowners affected by Saturday's Level 3 evacuations may be allowed back to their residences soon.

Highway 10 reopened to all traffic Sunday afternoon.

The fire's cause is still under investigation, but it appears to be accidental, sparked after a vehicle towing a boat suffered a blow-out on the highway, the Kittitas Sheriff's Office said Saturday.

A separate fire burned 4 acres near the Cle Elum Fish Hatchery. It was contained Saturday night.

 

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