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Toxic smoke hangs over Mexico City as wildfires burn

May 13, 2019; 5:11 PM


The government of Mexico City has issued alerts for poor air quality since Friday as a result of a series of forest fires that have broken out in and around the most populated city in North America.

Outdoor activities were affected during the course of the weekend, and continues, due to a dense layer of smoke that has enveloped much of the city. Videos posted on social media showed how dense the smoke was that hung in the air over Mexico's capital city.

The situation is especially dangerous because, as reported by the Ministry of the Environment, the air is contaminated with high levels of ash particles, which can cause respiratory problems and other diseases by inhalation.

Authorities in Mexico City reported at least 20 fires that affected the capital, so they mobilized about 258 firefighters to extinguish brush fires, four fires in dry farming plots, two fires in residences, a forest fire and a fire in an industrial warehouse.

"The air quality will continue in the orange category, which means that the conditions are bad. In the coming days, the improvement of these conditions will be very slight since the air in the atmosphere is not moving enough and because of the lack of rainfall," said AccuWeather's bilingual broadcaster Marvin Gómez.

"Do outdoor activities in the early hours of the day when the air is less polluted. People with respiratory problems should be alert to health symptoms and consult their doctor. An air purifier in a closed room at home or in the workplace can improve air quality," Gómez advised.

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