Dramatic photos: California residents wake up to raining ash and smoke-filled skies

Teresa Walker of Livermore woke up to yet another Bay Area day where the skies were filled with smoke and ash.

She snapped a photo of her car in the driveway, covered in black flecks.

"Isn't it horrible?" Walker said, as memories flooded back for her of similar weather patterns. Her family suffered through the Camp Fire in Paradise in 2018. 

Michael Thompson also captured falling ash, which looked a bit like Christmas snow, in front of a tree by his home in Discovery Bay. And Patrick Extrum's car in Pittsburg also was covered in ash, though it looked more like a scene from a winter wonderland because of all the white fluff blanketing his hood and windows. 

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Others around the Bay Area also documented hazy horizons, red suns and gray skies -- all the result of the raging wildfires burning around California, which as of this week had scorched a record-setting 2.3 million acres of earth. The National Weather Service said that the ash is likely a result of the August Lightning Complex Fire in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties and the North Complex Fire in Butte and Plumas counties. 

Angela Sollecito asked the best question of the day: "Is this Mars or Earth?" after sending in a photo of a bright red sky in Vallejo. 

Others conjured up Biblical quotes and the wrath of God.

Evin Craft said he was shocked to wake up to a "post-apocalyptic sky."

Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan quoted Zecheriah, tweeting: "It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; The lights will diminish. It will be a unique day..." 

Meteorologist Steve Paulson said the reason it didn't smell so smoky is that the polluted air is hovering high in the atmosphere above the marine layer that pushed inland from the Pacific Ocean. 

Despite the smoke, the air quality would be worse if the temperatures were higher.

“Visually you can see it in the sky but it hasn’t descended down to ground-level as much as we expected,” said Aaron Richardson from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Angela Sollecito asks "is this Mars or Earth?" showing red skies in Vallejo. Sept. 9, 2020

The fires and heat led to another new infamous record: Wednesday marked 23 days of consecutive Spare the Air alerts. 

On Tuesday, the worst air quality readings were in Napa, Concord, Livermore, Pleasanton, Gilroy, and San Jose. Those areas had unhealthy levels for sensitive groups for most of the day and at times were hazardous.

The eerie skies put many in a bad mood. 

“It’s cloudy, it's gloomy, the air quality is definitely pretty bad,” said Luis Chanon, a supervisor at Parkside Bar & Grill in Concord.

In downtown Concord, most of the outdoor patio dining sat empty. Malia Obillo, an Oakland resident working from home, said she had to get out after being cooped up indoors. She questioned her decision after seeing the smoke.

“I don't think we were thinking about it until we were driving here and we saw how bad it was," Obillo said. "The sky was so red and we thought whoa it’s like a movie right now." 

KTVU's Azenith Smith contributed to this report. 
 

Crytal Sokolov took this image of downtown from Lower Haight. Sept. 9, 2020

Russian Hill’s Holy Trinity Cathedral against an orange morning sky. (Crystal Sokolov) Sept. 9, 2020

Donna Dong took this photo of a red sky on Sept. 9, 2020

Brandon Gage took a photo of smoky skies in Chico where the Bear Fire is burning. Sept. 9, 2020

Laird Brown titled his photo 8 a.m. in hell. Sept. 9, 2020

The sky over Jack London Square in Oakland. Sept. 9, 2020

The sun is seen behind smoke from the Bobcat fire rising above in the Angeles National Forest above Duarte, California. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Gloria Deluna said ash fell on her car in Napa because of the wildfire smoke. Sept. 9, 2020

Angela Sollecito asks "is this Mars or Earth?" showing red skies in Vallejo. Sept. 9, 2020

Mark & Carole Simitz sent photos of ash in Walnut Creek at the base of Mount Diablo. Sept. 9, 2020

Ash in Orinda courtesy of Amber Eikel. Sept. 9, 2020

Boats at the Shaver Lake marina sit docked as smoke hangs in the air during the Creek Fire on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Shaver Lake, an area where hundreds of people became trapped, is seen surrounded by smoke during the Creek fire at Shaver Lake, California (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Patrick Extrum woke up to find ash covering his car in Discovery Bay. Sept. 9, 2020