Drew collier , Not positive but could be the wires for charging/starting system. I will post a link to schematic for Protege for you to reference the color of wires from to see exactly what they are for. 2nd link is to be for a downloadable service manual with schematics also just scroll down to Service Manual (PDF) [50MB] download at your own risk. The wire possibly got hot and melted due to a short, wire insulation may have deteriorated, mouse/animal may have chewed on them, if you had to turn/crank engine over excessively(too long) wires could melt, etc. Good luck.
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