Arizona wildfire destroys multiple homes in Bagdad
BAGDAD, Ariz. (AP) — A wildfire has destroyed at least a dozen homes in a remote Arizona mining town, but authorities said firefighting crews managed to halt the blaze’s advance with assistance from aircraft dropping water and fire retardant.
The fire that started on the afternoon of May 27 in the community of Bagdad and quickly prompted authorities to issue 570 evacuation notices to residents.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in the town of about 2,000 people and there were conflicting reports about how many homes burned.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office estimated in a statement that 25 to 30 homes “were lost” while the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said 13 homes plus at least 10 other buildings were “confirmed destroyed”
The fire burned 150 acres in Bagdad after it started and was contained around 25 percent of its perimeter, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said.
An initial investigation indicated that road work may have started the fire but the investigation was continuing, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Air tankers and helicopters dropped fire retardant and water on homes, brush and dry grass and a shelter was set up at an elementary school in the town of Wickenburg, about an hour’s drive from Bagdad.
Bagdad resident Jerry Hoddy told azfamily.com that he grabbed his phone, a briefcase with important documents and three fishing poles after learning about the fire from neighbor who banged on his door while he was taking a nap.
Hoddy said he later learned his duplex was destroyed but that he was thankful he and others escaped without injuries.
“My involvement with sports all through high school and college has prepared me mentally for most disasters that life can throw at you. We’ll all get through this as a community,” said Hoddy.
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