SPOKANE, Wash. — A wildfire burning near Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state has more than doubled in size.

The lightning-caused fire is burning in wilderness areas east of the park, and on Tuesday it prompted the closure of a portion of the national park.

The fire had grown to 67.9 square miles (175 square kilometers) by Wednesday morning. It was just 8 percent contained and is being attacked by 341 firefighters.

Meanwhile, heavy smoke from wildfires continues to blanket much of the state. Smoky conditions are reported from Seattle to Spokane, where the air on Wednesday morning was rated as hazardous. Air quality is expected to improve in the state later in the week.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.