Washington state wildfires may merge into larger blaze

YAKIMA, Wash.

One of the fires has scorched about 9,500 acres southwest of Wenatchee since breaking out two weeks ago. Officials believe it was sparked by lightning.

The other fire burning nearby has scorched about 40,000 acres in the Table Mountain region. Officials say if the fires merge, the blaze would be bigger than the city of Seattle.

Thousands of firefighters have been steering the flames away from communities, awaiting rain or mountain snow that typically ends the wildfire season. But there is no end in sight, though firefighters have been able to protect homes and structures.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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