“Palabok-colored sky” covers SF Bay Area with sun-blocking smoke, ash

San Francisco Bay Area residents woke up wondering if they were on a different planet.

They woke up to strange red-orange skies and a layer of falling ash. Many described the annatto seed-colored backdrop as a scene from Mars and some even called it “apocalyptic”.

All throughout the day, there was no visible sunrise in the region—only haze that could be likened to pre-dawn light.

According to experts, this is an ominous effect of the historic number of wildfires burning across California. Wind conditions overnight have caused smoke to envelope lower elevations, filtering sunlight. Air quality in the area, though, remained mostly unchanged.

About 40 large fires are burning through the West Coast. Twenty-eight of them are in the Golden State alone, scorching more than 2.5 million acres.

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