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Bagdad evacuation order lifted as containment for Spur Fire grows to 75%

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said 25 to 30 homes have been destroyed.

BAGDAD, Ariz. — Residents of the small mining town of Bagdad were allowed to return home Friday afternoon after a destructive wildfire tore through the area.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said 25 to 30 structures have been destroyed in the Spur Fire. Some of the losses included homes.

The fire is 75% contained as of Saturday.

The 150-acre fire spurred more than 1,500 people to evacuate Thursday as crews scrambled on the ground and in the air to protect the town.

Bagdad is a mining community west of Prescott.

Some homes in the area may still be without utility service, and authorities warn against returning until it's restored.

Travel restrictions are still in place on Highways 96 and 97, and only residents and workers of Bagdad are allowed in the town as of Friday.

An initial investigation shows a road construction crew may have ignited the fire, the sheriff's office said. 

Damage to utility structures has been reported, and power lines were de-energized for safety as the fire burned through fiber optic cables, according to YCSO.

On Thursday afternoon, a code red "GO" message was sent to people in residences north of Main Street telling them to evacuate.

Evacuees were sent to Hassayampa Elementary School at 195 E Coconino St. in Wickenburg. It's unclear if the center will stay open after the evacuation order was lifted.

All 911 phone lines were down Thursday night but have since been fixed. 

Freeport-McMoRan, a mining company headquartered in Phoenix with major copper mining operations in Bagdad released the following statement on Friday:

"Bagdad residents were safely evacuated, and mine operations were halted after a wildland fire broke out about 2 p.m., Thursday, in the townsite area. No injuries have been reported. However, several structures, including homes, were burned.

Evacuation orders are in effect as utility crews work to restore power to the area. We expect that to be completed later today.

We have a limited crew at the mine conducting essential functions needed to maintain the various systems for safety and environmental purposes.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents, and the company is taking appropriate measures to provide assistance to those affected.

Contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office for more information."

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