Photos: Wildfire smoke is blanketing Mexico City

Smoke from a series of wildfires have reached Mexico City, where officials have declared a state of emergency and are urging people to stay indoors. The level of PM 2.5—the measure of particulate matter in the air per cubic meter—reached 158 yesterday (May 14), far above what is considered safe. Reuters noted that one of the most polluted major cities in the world, Delhi, India has an average level of 113.5.

The influx of smoke in the valley where Mexico City sits didn’t immediately lead to cars being pulled off the streets, since the conditions didn’t originate from auto exhaust. As the pollution persisted, officials began limiting driving.

Photos from recent days show the city, which has long battled pollution, engulfed by smoke and ash.

A general view shows the effects of smoke in Mexico City on May 13.

Smoke hangs over in Mexico City on May 13.

Smoke and fires in southern Mexico, in an image taken by the NASA Aqua MODIS satellite on May 12

Tourists take in the view from the Latin American Tower on May 14.

The sunset illuminates the haze as seen from the Latin American Tower on May 14.

The historic center of Mexico City on May 14, when authorities activated a contingency plan to address harmful air conditions.

A biker with a mask on May 14.

Buildings on Reforma Avenue are enveloped in a haze on May 14.

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