Updated 8AM- Fire forces evacuations near Cle Elum
Update at 8:00 a.m.
The Fire has engulfed 23 square miles, but forward progress has been stopped at the moment by Fire Fighters.
Update at 5:00 a.m.
40 Structures are now burned.
15,000 acres burned.
The fire is 6 miles away from Ellensburg. High winds in the area will hamper fire fighters.
Update At 2:15 a.m.
The Taylor Bridge Fire is now burning more than 10,000 acres. It broke out on Monday at the Taylor Bridge Construction Site on State Route 10, then quickly spread east due to high winds. Crews say about 25 structures have been lost. Residents are being forced to find shelter in Cle Elum and Ellensburg.
Another evacuation shelter has been opened. This one is at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. Here is the number to call for residents with questions on evacuations, 509-933-8305.
We talked to local residents who fled the area last night. Katy Finch said, "It was horrifying at first. When we were in there, trying to get everything together I'm like panicking." Robert Giaudronn added, "From what it looks like to me, it's just literally out of control right now. I mean they are not able to stop it yet."
At last check, the fire is zero percent contained. The cause of the fire is unknown. Drivers are being asked to avoid State Route 10 if they can. Traffic is also being affected on State Route 97. The board of County Comissioners has declared a state of emergency.
Here is a link to where community members are helping each other in evacuations and offering shelter. http://www.facebook.com/groups/KittitasCommunityConnect/
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Department has now ordered an evacuation of those in the area of the Taylor Bridge Fire between Cle Elum and Thorp.
That fire is now nearly 2,800 acres in size and is threatening homes in the area.
An emergency shelter has been ordered at the Cle Elum Centennial Senior Center on East Third Street and an emergency animal shelter has been set up at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds.