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Cle Elum is a city in Kittitas County , Washington , United States. The population was 1,872 at the 2010 census.  Only an hour and a half by car from Seattle , Cle Elum is a popular area for camping and outdoor activities.
Tragedy struck the area when on July 16, 1908 two carloads of blasting powder being unloaded by the Northwest Improvement Company inexplicably exploded, killing at least nine people including miners, NIC store employees and a family with children living in a tent near the building. The explosion, located about three-quarters of a mile from Cle Elum's downtown, scattered debris and human remains and shattered windows across town. Accounts from residents equated the explosion to an earthquake. 
In December 1910, loggers working for the Cascade Lumber Company near Cle Elum went on strike after the company reduced pay and began charging $5 per week for board.