MILL VALLEY, Calif. (CBS Chicago/CBS SF Bay Area/CBS News) — A historic outbreak of wildfires across Northern California left a massive layer of smoke draped over the San Francisco Bay Area, turning skies early Wednesday into an eerie dark orange haze and covering cars, yards and homes with layers of ash.
Nearly 100 major fires continued raging Wednesday night in almost a dozen Western states.
The fires claimed lives and wiped out towns in Oregon and Washington, and turned skies eerily orange and brown in California as firefighters worked to snuff out the flames.
In the San Francisco Bay Area under a sky that some compared to Mars, cars, yards, and homes have been covered with layers of ash.
CBS San Francisco Bay Area reported more than 2 million acres have burned so far in a series of wildfires with the Bear and Creek fires currently raging to the east of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Former CBS 2 anchor/reporters Jon Duncanson and Sylvia Gomez now live in Mill Valley, California. Duncanson showed us the scene at 9:30 a.m. – which of course should be a time of broad daylight, but was instead was engulfed in darkness.
Duncanson and Gomez received text messages with ominous references to an “apocalypse” and a “dystopian future.”
And at a time and place where the Golden Gate Bridge would normally be clearly visible, it was so dark and foggy that not only the bridge, but also the ships that were coming through a gate much closer were obscured.
The reason for it all, Gomez explained, was that a marine fog layer got trapped by smoke and ash above it – blocking out the sun for a good part of the day. And Duncanson and Gomez were 50 to 60 miles away from the nearest fire, yet still experiencing what seemed like the atmosphere of another planet.
Duncanson and Gomez are safe, but as you might imagine, their day was incredibly intense.
As of Wednesday, 24 wildfires were burning in California.