LAS CRUCES - A fire burning north of Mimbres in the Gila National Forest continues to grow.
The Black Fire ignited Friday evening in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness about 24 miles north of Mimbres. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Over the weekend, the fire exploded to 18,762 acres and is expected to have another large growth day Monday, May 16, according to the official fire report.
A Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team is taking over the firefighting operation, which includes about 140 firefighters as of Monday morning.
The fire is expected to continue to burn toward the Black range crest in the Sheep Mountain and Diamond Peak area. Crews are focusing on containing fire west of Forest Road 150 in the Links ranch area and securing the southern edge, keeping the fire out of Black Canyon.
Smoke from the fire is visible from the nearby communities of Winston and Poverty Creek, as well as in the Mimbres Valley, Gila River Valley and Silver City.
The fire has crossed Forest Service Road 150 north of Forest Trail 716, east of Forest Trail 713 and south of 609 Links Ranch Road. Partial closures are in effect for portions of Forest Road 150 and for Forest Service Trails 708, 713, and 716.
This article originally appeared on Silver City Sun-News: Black Fire in New Mexico continues to grow in Gila National Forest