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Margo Fire in Pinal County not spreading, evacuations lifted

 

PHOENIX – Evacuation orders prompted by the Margo Fire in Pinal County have been lifted, authorities said Saturday afternoon.

Firefighters managed to get a line around the fire to secure the southern edge late Friday night.

The fire has consumed 1,148 acres and is 80% contained as of Sunday evening’s update.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, all utilities have been restored in Dudleyville and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office announced residents could return home, but were urged not to enter burn areas. Firefighters are still actively working in the area monitoring the perimeter for interior hot spots.

Approximately 200 people were from the area after orders were issued around noon Thursday. By 5 p.m., 12 structures had been destroyed, according to Forestry and Fire Management.

Crews on Friday continued to build fire lines to keep the flames from spreading into Dudleyville if winds gust again, but utility crews also needed to check for damage to power lines that were deenergized Thursday, said Forestry and Forest Management spokeswoman Tiffany Davila.

Pinal County Sheriff’s officials said 74 structures were within the evacuation zone, with 243 residents living in that area.

Emergency shelters were opened at Ray High School in Kearny to the north of Dudleyville and the Mammoth Community Center to the south.

Dudleyville is a census-designated place with a population of about 1,000 located off Highway 77 about 60 miles north of Tucson.

The mining town was the site of a July 2017 wildfire that charred almost 1,200 acres and destroyed several structures, including homes.

The cause of the Margo Fire has not been determined.

With drought conditions across the Arizona, experts have been concerned about the potential for a busy wildfire season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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