DUDLEYVILLE — The Margo fire burning near Dudleyville is now 100% contained, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. The  1,148 acre fire was completely contained by 5 p.m. on Monday. The fire has been placed in a monitor status and turned over to the Dudleyville Fire District. 

The Department of Forestry has determined that the fire was human caused but is still investigating the ignition source for the fire. There were no reports of injuries from the fire, however it did burn 12 structures in the area.

The evacuation order for residents of Dudleyville due to the Margo Fire was lifted around 1 p.m. on Saturday after utilities, including electricity, were turned back on in the small community in eastern Pinal County.

The fire started around 9 a.m. on April 8. The Pinal County Sheriff's Office ordered the evacuation of approximately 200 residents the same day. Around 40 people spent the night at a Red Cross shelter at Ray High School in Kearny, while others evacuated to the homes of family and friends.  

The fire caused the closure of State Route 77 twice. The route is currently open to traffic.

The state submitted a request for a federal grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Thursday to help cover some of the cost of the fire. FEMA accepted and approved the request the same day. The grant provides federal funding for up to 75% of eligible firefighting costs, such as field camps, equipment, materials, supplies and mobilization and demobilization activities. There is no estimated cost for the fire at this time.

Arizona had one of its worst wildfire seasons in nearly a decade in 2020 according to state Forestry and Fire Management Department officials.

Officials have warned there is a potential for widespread, statewide fire activity by June.

Among the factors for last year’s severe wildfire season was unseasonably warm conditions, a lack of moisture, an overabundance of fuels across Arizona’s central region and within the Sonoran Desert, and increased recreational traffic across the state.

Dudleyville is a census-designated place with a population of about 1,000 located off SR 77 in eastern Pinal County about 60 miles north of Tucson. The mining town was the site of a July 2017 arson-caused wildfire that charred almost 1,200 acres and destroyed several structures, including homes.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.