Fire crews want to see two major wildfires merge into one

CLE ELUM, Wash. -- Fears the massive wildfire near Cle Elum would merge into a 'monster fire' may come true, and fire crews would be thrilled.

"They might join, if they do join, and they would both just have no where else to go," said Joe Anderson, Table Mountain Fire Team Spokesperson.

Firefighters tell Action News it'd be easier to get a handle on the fires if they meet. Flames would have no fuel to keep burning.

Crews began lighting controlled burns near Liberty. The goal is to keep the fire away from homes nearby and on Highway 97.

It's a day and night operation to beat this monster back.

The command center for the Table Mountain fire has at least 900 fire stationed. Some came from as far as Maine and Florida. All of them working 14 to 16 hours a day.

Adrienne Blum lives near the command center.
She was evacuated during the Taylor Bridge fire last month.
She stopped by to look at fire maps to see if her home is in danger once again.

Greg Campbell says he actually witnessed the lightning strike that sparked the Table Mountain fire.

"It just burned and burned and burned and then it gets out of control and smoked us out," Greg said.

Greg's property was damaged by Taylor Bridge flames. He's not too worried about these fires. But many of his neighbors in Liberty have been evacuated.

As you know firsthand, the smoke has affected the most people.

"There's days where the visibility is probably 150 to 200 feet. It's just hard to breathe, ashes flying through the air," Greg said.

"I figure I smoke about 40 trees a day," Adrienne said.

Crews believe the controlled burns and better weather is helping.
But getting the two fires to become one is the best outlook for neighbors worried about losing it all.