The Goodwin Fire was considered 43 percent contained Thursday evening as residents of Mayer returned to their homes.
In addition, Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher told a community meeting in Prescott Valley that State Route 69 will reopen fully Friday between Interstate 17 and State Route 169 in Prescott Valley. Officials said the opening is expected by 6 a.m.
The stretch was closed earlier this week after the fire threatened Mayer, parts of Dewey and numerous other residential areas scattered near the highway, a major link to Prescott Valley and Prescott. The portion between I-17 and Mayer was reopened Thursday to allow residents of that town to return.
Officials also announced late Thursday an evacuation order had been lifted for the Poland Junction area on the east side of SR 69.
Earlier in the day, officials estimated about half the town’s homes had regained power. It was unclear how many people had returned to their homes, in part because a significant number never left as the blaze approached, officials said.
But for the first time since the blaze broke out Saturday afternoon, fire managers appeared to be optimistic about gaining an upper hand on the fire, which has burned nearly 25,000 acres in the Prescott National Forest.
Authorities said “four or five” structures had burned in the Mayer area, but resisted saying more because they had not had an opportunity to get a full evaluation of the damage.
“So far, we’ve really dodged a bullet,” said Tom Thurman, chairman of the Yavapai County supervisor…
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