A wildfire has damaged more than a dozen homes in the small mining town of Bagdad in the US state of Arizona, forcing about 600 residents to be relocated.
“We are saddened to report an estimated 25-30 homes were lost in this mining community. As of right now, the fire is at 150 aces and crews are still actively working to contain the fire. State Routes 96 and 97 are both closed coming into Bagdad,” Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office announced on its official Facebook page on Friday morning.
Local media reported that three or four different parts of the wildfire, dubbed Spur Fire, ripped through the community on Thursday afternoon, but the Bagdad Fire and Rescue Department managed to stop the forward progress at night with the help of two large airtankers and helicopters.
As of Friday morning, Arizona State Forestry said about 25 per cent of the fire had been contained, and about 570 evacuation notices were sent out to people in the area.
Meanwhile, the water and electricity services were still cut.
Both state routes 96 and 97 near the town remained closed because of the fire, and there was no estimated time of reopening, Arizona Department of Transportation tweeted on Friday.
More than a dozen cars were parked at the state route closure, and several of the vehicle occupants appeared to be evacuated residents, The Arizona Republic newspaper said.
Bagdad is located in Yavapai County about 180 km northeast of Phoenix, capital city of Arizona.
Phoenix-based mining company Freeport-McMoRan operates the copper/molybdenum mine and owns all the homes and commercial buildings in the town.
The population of Bagdad is about 2,000 and it’s one of only two remaining company-owned towns in Arizona.