Wildfire in central WA state destroys 40 homes - KPTV - FOX 12

Wildfire in central WA state destroys 60 homes

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A fast-moving wildfire burned 60 homes across about 40 square miles of central Washington grassland, timber and sagebrush.

Fire commanders estimated Tuesday the blaze has burned at least 26,000 acres since it started Monday afternoon east of the town of Cle Elum.

So far, no injuries have been reported but hundreds of people have been evacuated.

The fire crept within six miles of Ellensburg, about 75 miles east of Seattle.

The fire is not contained.

Wildfire spooks chimps at Washington sanctuary

Seven chimpanzees at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest near Cle Elum are OK, but a spokeswoman says they seem bewildered by the smoke in the air and changes in their routine from a wildfire that burned within a couple hundred feet of their building.

Outreach director Diana Goodrich says humans were advised to evacuate as fire threatened the sanctuary Monday, but she and her husband J.B. Mulcahy, the director of operations, stayed overnight as firefighters protected the building.

The power went off, and they were unable to pump water from the well, so they had to deliver drinking water to the chimps by hand.

Goodrich says the fire burned a couple of trees within sight of the building and some of the grass in a 2-acre outdoor area.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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