Residents in the Bay Area of Northern California woke up Wednesday morning to an orange, glowing skyline as smoke from the state's wildfires traveled into the upper atmosphere and blocked the sunlight, creating a glow across the region.
Tibisay Perez, a climate scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, said he couldn't tell it was morning.
"I was wondering what time it was. Then I looked outside and it looks like doomsday. I mean you can tell something is horribly going wrong and as far as going to work and breathing in all of this pollution is definitely not healthy for us in the Bay Area." Dozens of large blazes are burning in Washington, Oregon and California, many fueled by low humidity and soaring temperatures.
The thermometer in the western part of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley topped 121 degrees Fahrenheit over the Labor Day weekend.
About 14,000 firefighters battled 25 blazes in California with more than 2.2 million acres charred since the fire season got an early and deadly start last month, a record for this point in the year according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Fires forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and closed several national forests across the state.
For Bay Area residents, the sky's otherworldly glow was an ominous, dispiriting, sight to behold.
"It feels like the end of the world. It's pretty scary. I'm a lifelong Californian and it makes me weep for what we've done to my poor state."