I heard tonight that the California state office that coordinates fire fighting efforts on a daily basis is tracking over 900 fires at the moment. The comment from the experts there is that this level of fire activity is normally only seen in August, and the very end of the summer fire season. This year things are getting very ugly, very early. That explains why the sky was so strange again this evening.
Today the wind shifted and all the smoke, ash, etc… from the fires north of San Francisco blew down to the peninsula today. Unlike a couple of days ago, when I took the other pictures I posted, instead of a plume of smoke very high in one part of the sky, everything to the north was immersed in uniformly grayish haze which appeared to be almost to ground level. As a result, the sunlight was much more diffused. In fact I caught myself staring directly at the sun a couple of times zooming and focusing shots. The light was so filtered that looking directly at the orange/yellow ball in the sky wasn’t uncomfortable at all. I’m sure it’s still a very bad idea though, so I tried to minimize the time I did that…
I’m mostly posting these pics to document how serious the fires are, how long they take to get under control (the Indians Fire from the previous set is till burning), and to show how surreal the environment looks when something like this happens
I didn’t make any change whatsoever to the color, light levels, or anything else. I just scaled these images to 640 pixels wide and saved them as 85% quality JPEG’s.