Bay Area smoke: Video shows orange sky blanketing the East Bay

ByAlix Martichoux and Anser Hassan KGO logo
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Here's what the smoky skies over the East Bay look like
Video shows what the air looked like in Oakland, Richmond, Walnut Creek and other parts of the Bay Area as California fires blew smoke over the area.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- A thick, orange haze blanketed the Bay Area Wednesday, creating apocalyptic conditions that lasted all day.

VIDEOS: Apocalyptic orange skies seen across Bay Area from wildfire smoke

Video from Oakland, Richmond and other different spots around the East Bay show the eerie scene. See for yourself in the video player above.

Driving through downtown Walnut Creek at 10 a.m. looked more like 10 p.m. with the orange sky that everyone woke up to.

VIDEO: East Bay businesses, residents shocked by orange skies, ash falling from sky

Along with the Star Wars-like skies in the East Bay came a downpouring of ash, shocking both business owners and residents.

Camron Savarani, general manager at Walnut Creek Ford, had to wash his entire fleet of 100 cars that became covered with ash.

Savarani says sales have been steady during the pandemic, but a few customers did call to cancel because of the orange sky.

"The biggest challenge this morning is it felt like it was nighttime. It didn't feel like we were coming to ready to sell and service cars. So, definitely a mental battle," says Savarani.

In Pleasant Hill, the orange patio umbrellas at Jack's Restaurant and Bar matched the orange sky.

"I woke up this morning thinking it was 8:30 at night. It's wild, never seen anything like it," says Bryan Jackson, who lives in Vallejo.

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

Jackson jokes that the orange sky seems to be right on cue for 2020.

"(Just) another form of 2020!" he says with a laugh. "That's it. You can't get away from it! Not until January 1!"

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

The smoke over the region is coming from the Bear Fire, one of the wildfires burning in Butte County that makes up the Northern Complex. The Bear Fire exploded in size overnight to 58,000 acres, prompting evacuations and spewing out smoke over the Bay Area.

But a thick marine layer kept air quality in much of the Bay Area relatively good, despite the ominous sky color.

"The marine layer is a stable area of air that does not rise, and so we're continually pumping in cleaner air from over the ocean," explains ABC7 News Meteorologist Mike Nicco.

That's why the sky is so dark, with a yellow or orange hue, but you may not smell smoke when you step outside. Read more here.

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  • Why does smoke turn the sky orange? Meteorologist explains science behind it
  • Here's what you need to know about the Bear Fire, prompting evacuations and spewing smoke into the Bay Area
  • Orange San Francisco sky looks even wilder in drone video
  • Dramatic photos capture orange, hazy skies seen all across San Francisco Bay Area
  • Tips for protecting your eyes from wildfire smoke, bad air quality
  • USFS closes all 18 national forests in California amid 'unprecedented and historic fire conditions'
  • Evacuees describe racing for safety as Bear Fire explodes in size in Butte County