Forest fire in Arizona destroys several houses in Baghdad | Navajo Hopi observer

Originally published: June 1, 2021 9:14 am

BAGDAD, Arizona (AP) – Wildfire destroyed at least a dozen homes in a remote Arizona mining town, but authorities said firefighters managed to stop the advance of the fire using planes that dropped water and fire retardants .

The fire that broke out in the Baghdad municipality on the afternoon of May 27th prompted authorities to quickly issue 570 evacuation notices to residents.

There have been no immediate reports of injuries in the city of around 2,000 people and there have been conflicting reports about how many houses were on fire.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Bureau said in a statement that 25 to 30 homes were “lost”, while the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said 13 homes and at least 10 other buildings were “confirmed as destroyed.”

The fire burned 150 acres in Baghdad after it erupted and was contained about 25 percent of its extent, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said.

An initial investigation revealed that road works may have started the fire, but the investigation continues, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Air tankers and helicopters dropped fire retardants and water on houses, bushes and dry grass, and a shelter was built at a primary school in the city of Wickenburg, about an hour’s drive from Baghdad.

Baghdad-based Jerry Hoddy told that he snapped up his phone, a briefcase containing important documents, and three fishing rods after learning of the fire from a neighbor knocking on his door while taking a nap.

Hoddy said he later learned that his duplex had been destroyed, but he was grateful that he and others escaped without injuries.

“My exercise in high school and college prepared me mentally for most of the disasters life can throw at you. We’ll all get through this as a community, ”said Hoddy.

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