Bay Area wakes up to ominous orange skies 'unlike anything' residents have experienced before

It was so dark, Bay Area drivers had to turn their headlights on at 9 a.m.
NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area residents weren't quite sure what time it was or what to think when they woke up Wednesday morning. Instead of seeing morning light, they were greeted with orange darkness.

"It felt like when the sun is going down like a sunset that was the type of sky we could see. In the morning. At 7 a.m. this morning," said Marisa Hawks of Calistoga.

RELATED: Here's why the sky looks so orange, even though Bay Area air quality isn't terrible

Visitors trying to enjoy a wine country getaway in Calistoga were already dealing with a power outage. PG&E shut the power off to parts of Napa and Sonoma County because of the threat of wildfires. Now they had an orange dark sky to add to their environment.

"I just felt like something is wrong. We should look at the internet to see what's going on. But the internet is down," said E.B. Davis, who said the inn where he was staying in Calistoga did not have power.

"It's just so strange. I don't know what is going on. I know there's fires going on but it doesn't smell super smoky, doesn't seem super ashy. It's just really weird," Davis said.

VIDEO: Dramatic photos capture orange, hazy skies seen all across San Francisco Bay Area
EMBED More News Videos

All across the San Francisco Bay Area, residents woke up to dark, orange skies. Here's a look at some of the most dramatic images.

Calistoga residents who had been trying to keep cool without air conditioning, suddenly found themselves trying to keep the air from coming in.

"We closed everything. We opened everything at night but as soon as we woke up, we closed everything. There's nothing else that you can do," Hawks said.

There didn't seem to be an escape from the weird air in the Bay Area. Images from Novato to Richmond to San Francisco all showed the same orange sky. The only change seemed to be as the morning went on, visibility got worse. The color just got darker and more ominous.

DRONE VIDEO: Orange San Francisco sky looks even wilder in drone video

It was so dark, drivers had to turn their headlights on at 9 a.m.

The darkness had even long time California residents just shocked at what they were seeing.

"I'm wondering what world I am in right now. It seriously looks like it is 4 a.m. right now before sun up and what is it 9 a.m.? Very, very strange. And it does not smell like smoke either. Very strange, honestly unlike anything I have experienced and I have lived in Northern California for 36 years," said Petaluma resident Jim Agius.

App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window


  • Track wildfires across Bay Area with this interactive map

  • Here are all the fires burning in the Bay Area right now

  • Latest on LNU, CZU and SCU Complex Fire evacuations, road closures

  • WATCH: Staggering footage shows lightning storm that started complex fires

  • Photos show scope of Bay Area wildfires' devastation

  • How LNU, CZU & SCU Lightning Complex Bay Area fires got their names

  • How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation

  • Most destructive California wildfires in history

  • Camp Fire is deadliest wildfire in California history

  • How are wildfires started? A look at the causes of some of the worst in California history

  • VIDEO: If air quality isn't bad, why is the sky so orange?
    EMBED More News Videos

    Why is the sky orange in the Bay Area? There is smoke in the air from the Bear Fire near Chico, but the marine layer is protecting us, so the sky is red, yellow or orange even where air quality is good.

    Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.