Mexico’s capital city is shrouded in a haze of hazardous smoke. The smoke is the result of several fires burning in and around the city in recent days. The National Weather Service in Dallas predicted some of the smoke could reach their coverage by later this week.
Mexico City residents have been warned to stay inside as the city is enveloped in a cloud of hazardous smoke, and meteorologists in the U.S. predict the haze could reach parts of the U.S. by the end of the week.
The pollution is from several recent and current fires in the city and outlying areas. Smoke from the blazes is also hovering over the western Gulf of Mexico.
“With the southerly flow, it’s likely some of the smoke pooling in (the) Gulf of Mexico from fires in southern Mexico and Central America will make its way northward,” the National Weather Service in Dallas-Forth Worth predicted in a long-term local forecast for this week. “This will probably result in hazy skies by Friday, but it’s unknown if the smoke will be dense enough to smell and/or cause health related air quality issues.“
Smoke ????covers Mexico City??, Sunday, May 12, 2019.— laurent.alfonso (@LaurentAlfonso) May 13, 2019
Mexico City has warned residents to remain indoors as forest and brush fires carpet the metropolis in smoke.https://t.co/Mkuvocmga3 pic.twitter.com/OKKHV0SibY
The weather service said upper level winds will dictate if the smoke reaches the U.S. or not. Patrick Marsh, a meteorologist with NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, tweeted a similar warning.
Mexico City’s environmental commission said the city’s air is polluted with high levels of ash and other solid particles that can cause respiratory problems and other illnesses with prolonged exposure, the Associated Press reported. There have been several fires in or near the city in recent days, including 13 brush fires, four fires on empty lots, two house fires, a forest fire and a blaze at an industrial warehouse, according to the AP report. Thirty fires have broken out in the nearby state of Mexico.
Meanwhile, fires in the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero have contributed to the crisis. At least 14 fires are burning out of control in Oaxaca, fueled by hot weather and high winds.
Mexico City and its surrounding areas are home to some 22 million people. The dry season has gotten longer there in recent years, leading to less rain and higher temperatures, the AP reported.
Some residents decided to ignore the warnings and go outside on Sunday anyway.
“I’m used to the air, somehow,” Olivia Meza, 28, who was inline skating, told the AP. “We’re like cockroaches – it’s hard to kill us.“