California residents are comparing the Bay Area’s apocalyptic orange skies to scenes from Blade Runner 2049 while Los Angeles is suffering the worst smog in 26 years and its air quality has plummeted to the poorest in the world as wildfires continue to rip through the West Coast leaving at least 23 dead.
Almost 100 major fires continue to rage across 12 states, devastating almost 4.4 million acres and wiping out thousands of homes in their paths.
California, Oregon and Washington state have been hardest-hit with more than 500,000 Oregonians – 10 percent of the population – forced to evacuate after 1,400 square miles have been scorched statewide in the last week alone causing the major city of Portland to declare a state of emergency.
In Northern California, the North Complex fire that destroyed a foothill hamlet is now the state’s deadliest blaze of the year with 10 people confirmed dead – as officials warn the toll could climb higher as emergency crews desperately search for at least 16 missing people.
Four other deaths have been confirmed in Oregon, including a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother – and one in Washington state.
Areas that have so far escaped the blazes unscathed are now in the grips of dangerously poor air quality, with San Francisco blanketed in thick smog and its air quality now the joint worst in the world with Dubai.
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday as smog from the wildfires screen the sun on the horizon
BLADE RUNNER 2049: California residents are comparing the Bay Area’s apocalyptic orange skies to scenes from Blade Runner 2049
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: The worst of the lung-damaging ozone pollution was in San Francisco and Oakland – the Golden Gate bridge was almost camouflaged against the orange hue – and also in Sonoma County, particularly the town of Sebastopol
MEDFORD, OREGON: A person walks past gutted homes in the Medford Estates neighborhood in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Medford which authorities are investigating as possible arson
TALENT, OREGON: Resident Desiree Pierce cries as she visits her home destroyed by the Almeda Fire Friday
PHOENIX, OREGON: Drone footage shows a mobile home park in Phoenix, Oregon, on Thursday totally destroyed by the wildfires sweeping across the state and the rest of the West Coast
The map above shows 103 fires that have already burned more than 3.4 million acres across the western United States
This comes as:
Parts of California were shrouded in burnt orange skies Thursday, with residents taking to social media to compare the sight to the end-of-the-world movies and, in particular, Blade Runner 2049.
The hotly-anticipated follow-up to the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner was released in 2017 and was famed for its orange scenes set in Las Vegas in 2049.
At the time, some critics blasted the scenes as unrealistic but social media users pointed out this week that the reality was closer than anyone could have anticipated.
The skies above the Bay Area and the Golden Gate Bridge were lit up with flaming orange hues Thursday and there were some reports of ash raining down from the skies.
The orange skies have been caused by a combination of the smoke fumes from the wildfires mixed with clouds and fog and blocking out the sunlight in the Golden State.
Unlike earlier in the week when high winds swept a lot of the smoke out to sea, the air quality had deteriorated considerably across California by Thursday morning.
The worst of the lung-damaging ozone pollution was in San Francisco and Oakland – the Golden Gate bridge was almost camouflaged against the orange hue – and also in Sonoma County, particularly the town of Sebastopol.
IQAir, which measures air quality throughout the world, found that San Francisco was tied with Dubai in the UAE with having the world’s worst air quality with an index of 167 parts per billion at 10am, considered ‘very unhealthy’ and way above the federal standard of 70ppb.
In rural areas such as Yosemite National Park that AQI level soared to 400ppb, the reported.
Lung-damaging ozone pollution spiked to 185ppb in downtown LA at midday on Sunday, the highest reading in Southern California since 2003 and highest in the city for 26 years.
MEDFORD, ORGEON: The Medford Estates neighborhood in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Medford, Oregon
MEDFORD, OREGON: Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze as a potential arson attack after a body was found near its origin
BERRY CREEK, CALIFORNIA: More than 14,000 firefighters are battling 28 fires across California, according to the Department of Fires and Forestry Protection. An exhausted Cal Fire crew were seen taking a break in the grass next to Berry Creek Elementary School, which was destroyed overnight during the Bear Fire on Wednesday
TALENT, OREGON: Residents survey the remains of their home in Talent, Oregon, from the blaze Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara announced Thursday a criminal investigation has been
PHOENIX, OREGON: A displaced couple in Phoenix, Oregon, after the blaze tore through homes.
A criminal investigation has been opened into the cause of the ‘suspicious’ fire
PHOENIX, OREGON: An American flag is almost all that remains standing after the Almeda fire ripped through Phoenix
TALENT, OREGON: Residents look at the destruction caused by the Almeda fire which has so far killed two people
TALENT, OREGON: Desiree Pierce wipes away tears as she stands among the rubble where her home once stood
TALENT, OREGON: Residents comfort each other in the aftermath of the Almeda Fire which authorities are investigating as possible arson
TALENT, OREGON: Fire retardant covers vehicles and roads in pink while buildings are reduced to rubble
TALENT, OREGON: A man walks through a neighborhood destroyed by the Almeda Fire in Talent Friday
TALENT, OREGON: Homes are reduced to rubble from the fire which investigators said is ‘suspicious’
PHOENIX, OREGON: An aerial shot from a drone of a mobile home park destroyed by fire in Phoenix, Oregon, on Thursday.
More than 500,000 Oregonians were forced to flee the wildfires
TALENT, OREGON: Homes are reduced to rubble in Talent after the fire ripped through neighborhoods. Oregon officials denied reports spreading on social media that fires have been deliberately started by far-left group Antifa and far-right group Proud Boys
PHOENIX, OREGON: Fire-ravaged homes in Oregon are seen from above on Thursday
PHOENIX, OREGON: In this aerial view from a drone, a mobile home park destroyed by fire is shown on September 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Oregon. Hundreds of homes in the town have been lost due to wildfire
PHOENIX, OREGON: Phoenix was reduced to a wasteland by the ferocious fires which have been raging across the West Coast
MONROVIA, CALIFORNIA: Firemen monitor the advance of the raging wildfire in Angeles National Park on Thursday
PHOENIX, OREGON: West Coast authorities have reported that at least 23 people have died in wildfires that are raging in California, Oregon and Washington state.
This aerial view shows a mobile home park in Phoenix, Oregon, that was destroyed by a fire
PHOENIX, OREGON: Hundreds of homes in Phoenix, Oregon (mobile home park pictured), have been lost due to wildfires in the state
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: People watch as thick smoke from the Bobcat fire moves through downtown Los Angeles, California, on Thursday
OREGON CITY, OREGON: Oregon residents evacuate north along highway Highway 213 on Wednesday near Oregon City, Oregon. As of Thursday night, more than 500,000 Oregonians – 10 per cent of the state’s population – have been forced to evacuate
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: The Golden Gate Bridge is seen at 11am on Wednesday in San Francisco, amid a smoky, orange hue caused by the ongoing wildfires
GATES, OREGON: A bird bath is seen in front of the charred remains of a home after the passage of the Santiam Fire in Gates, Oregon, on Thursday
TALENT, OREGON: A neighborhood destroyed by fire is seen as wildfires devastate the region on Thursday in Talent, Oregon
TALENT, OREGON: Pink fire retardant covers a car in an area destroyed by the Almeda Fire.
Oregon officials denied reports spreading on social media that fires have been deliberately started by far-left group Antifa and far-right group Proud Boys
MONROVIA, CALIFORNIA: A Coulson 737 firefighting tanker jet drops fire retardant to slow Bobcat Fire at the top of a major run up a mountainside in the Angeles National Forest on September 10, 2020 north of Monrovia, California
MONROVIA, CALIFORNIA: The Bobcat Fire advances in the Angeles National Forest on September 10, 2020 north of Monrovia, California
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