13 Homes Lost, Wildfire Forces Evacuation of Entire Town in Bagdad

13 homes lost, Wildfire forces evacuation of entire town in Bagdad 

A growing wildfire that sparked Thursday afternoon in Bagdad, Arizona has destroyed at least 25 structures, including homes, and forced the evacuation of the entire town.

The Spur Fire has scorched about 150 acres. As of Friday morning, Arizona State Forestry says about 25% of the fire has been contained. The fire is being fueled by dry grass and brush.

Bagdad, Arizona, located in Yavapai County, is a mining town about 90 minutes west of Prescott. Phoenix-based mining company Freeport-McMoRan operates the copper/molybdenum mine and owns all the homes and commercial buildings in town. The population of Bagdad is about 2,000 and it’s one of only two remaining company-owned towns in Arizona.

Ladder trucks were seen dousing water on structures, while a fire retardant was dropped on other areas. A helicopter was also using a bucket to carry water to areas. Arizona State Forestry says 13 primary structures and more than 10 secondary structures have been confirmed destroyed. A utility infrastructure has also been damaged.

Initial investigation shows that the fire may have been started by a road construction crew.

According to the Arizona State Forestry Department, power has been cut in the town as lines were de-energized for safety purposes. Phone lines were also out as the fire burned through the fiber optic cables.

An evacuation center for residents has been established at Hassayampa Elementary School in Wickenburg, located at 195 East Coconino Street.

If you plan to travel in the area for the holiday weekend, please be advised that State Routes 96 and 97 are closed.

 


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