A wildfire near the small mining town of Bagdad in Yavapai County has burned more than a dozen homes. It comes amid extended drought and high fire danger throughout the Southwest. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
Firefighters have halted the advance of the Spur Fire about 100 miles northwest of Phoenix. They were assisted by aircraft that dropped fire retardant on the flames. But 13 homes, utility lines and other buildings were destroyed.
"We’re in extreme to exceptional drought across pretty much most of the state. Our vegetation is drought-stricken. Any type of spark within this dry fuel bed is going to start a fast-moving wildfire," says Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management spokesperson Tiffany Davila.
About 575 Bagdad residents were ordered to evacuate Thursday shortly after the fire broke out. Officials are investigating the cause and say it may have been started by a road construction crew. Fire managers across the state are on high alert going into the holiday weekend, and fire restrictions are in effect on most national forests and public lands.