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Walnut Creek Magazine

Surreal September Sky

Sep 10, 2020 02:47PM ● By Harper Klein
Wildfires continue to burn up and down California with smoke blotting out the sun. As of Wednesday, California has seen more than 2.5 million acres burned this year, the largest amount of land on record, with the Southern California fire season still to come.

The smoke has accumulated from 28 fires in the state, as well as fires in Oregon, and extends 100 miles over the Pacific Ocean, says a spokesperson for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, leaving the Bay Area with extremely unhealthy air. 

Following the rescue of hundreds of stranded hikers, campers and others from the advancing Creek Fire earlier this week, the U.S. Forest Service announced the closure of all 18 national forests in California on Wednesday afternoon in response to “unprecedented and historic fire conditions.” The closures cover more than 20 million acres of forest, an area about 26 times the size of Rhode Island.

While the sky may have changed from orange to grey, smoke particles have begun to mix with the marine layer bringing ash closer to the surface and creating unhealthy "purple" air conditions. It’s also keeping temperatures in the 60s and 70s, a reprieve from last weekends' heatwave. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a spare the air alert through Friday, September 11. For air quality updates and forecasts, go to

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