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Updated: Silver Fire expected to grow more throughout week

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SILVER CITY (AP) — A nearly 76,160-acre wildfire is continuing to burn in southern New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, and will likely grow even more throughout the week.

Officials say the raging Silver Fire gained strength over the weekend due to high winds and hot, dry weather. Those conditions are expected to remain over the next few days.

The blaze is especially expanding to the north, into Animas Canyon and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, which is closed to the public.

Close to 500 firefighters continue to battle the massive blaze that is still 20-percent contained.

No structures have been lost.

Crews have begun fuels reduction around the community of Cooney and started examining Hermosa where a few residents live on ranches. Officials said those communities are not directly threatened.

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