2020 is California’s worst fire season on historical record. Here in Berkeley, California, we were fortunate enough to never have evacuation warnings. What we got instead were unhealthy levels of pollution for a straight month. This happened all across the west coast.
There was one day–September 9th to be exact–when the sky turned a bright orange that people were comparing to Blade Runner 2049. Everyone and their mother took pictures of the sky that day–us included–and I imagine that these will be plastered everywhere as symbols of climate change for years to come.
The inside story is that September 9th was actually a brief reprieve, the pollution equivalent of the eye of the storm. I don’t understand the meteorology of it, but newspapers said that the sky was orange because the pollution was up there rather than down on the ground level. The worst was actually the next day, when the AQI reached the 300s.