Remembering the day smoke-choked skies cast an eerie dark orange glow over Bay Area
OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- People across the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday were remembering the sinister hue the skies took on the two-year anniversary of the day wildfire smoke turned the sky an apocalyptic shade of orange.
More than 2 million acres were burning in a series of wildfires east of the San Francisco Bay Area. Smoke from the blazes had covered morning hours with a layer of darkness.
The smoke in the upper atmosphere scattered wavelengths of blue light, allowing only the warmer colors to reach the Earth's surface. The effect was most pronounced in San Francisco, where bright red-colored photos of the city's iconic landmarks, Lombard Street, Embarcadero, Coit Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, and Bay Bridge, flooded social media, complete with explanations of "no filter".
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"I don't know when this is gonna happen again. and it's very important we document it and capture it. So that we can prevent this from happening in the future," said photographer Sebastian Valley.
While it may look like the world is coming to an end, the orange and dark skies maybe a ominous sign of what maybe in our future.
Climate change experts at the University of California at Berkeley say fires and intense heat have always been a part of California's identity but what's alarming them the most is the rate at which these cases are occurring. They say they have seen this coming for a while.
"Unfortunately we can expect more of the same. That is absolutely clear because all the science is very consistent that these are the kinds of events that have been predicted for decades and all of the signs point to more of the same," David Ackerly, UC's Dean of Rausser College, said at the time.
The blood-red skies comes after a record-breaking streak of Spare the Air alerts for the region, that day was a record 23rd consecutive day.
KPIX 5 photojournalist Brian Yuen posted this surreal dashcam video of his late morning drive into San Francisco on the Bay Bridge.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed took to social media that day to calm any anxiety.
"I know people are concerned by the orange sky we all woke up to this morning," she tweeted. "The cause is a combination of fog and smoke from wildfires up and down the West Coast."
The San Francisco Giants' Twitter account posted startling images of Oracle Park with the surreal backdrop of orange skies.
The Oakland A's also shared photos of the Coliseum, making a reference to both 'Star Wars' and the now absent Raiders.
Social media was filled with local residents posting photos and comments about the smoke-filled skies.
Roqo took to Twitter -- "7:30 am in San Francisco. This is the light and the color of the sky. Honestly I am a bit panicked. I thought it's 3am."
Lisa Mycka Water also noted the darken skies -- "Good morning. Yesterday the sun was pink, today the entire sky."
Others also posted photos.
Meanwhile, on the highways, essential workers continued on about their day, driving in lunch hour darkness with headlights on. Construction workers in San Mateo brought in lights in the mid-afternooon to help with visibility while building a retaining wall at Highway 101 and E. Poplar Avenue.
Longtime Bay Area resident Nick Alafouzos said hammering nails outside his home in the late morning hours required the use of a headlamp, and caused him to ponder the rest of 2020.
"I was just having lunch with a buddy. The only thing we're waiting for is an earthquake to happen," said Alafouzos.
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