Skip to navigationSkip to content

Wildfires making the fog in San Francisco yellow are visible from space

Wildfires from Yolo and Lake counties are sending dark plumes of smoke all the way to the Bay Area.
By Daniel Wolfe
San FranciscoPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A peculiar yellow-tinged fog is all over skies and social media feeds across the San Francisco Bay Area, thanks to wildfires raging in not-so-nearby Northern California counties.

In this imagery from the GOES-16 weather satellite, you can clearly see the column of smoke make its way to San Francisco Bay and then the Pacific Ocean, mixing with the cloud cover and fog:

The Bay Area’s anthropomorphized Karl the Fog can’t claim solo credit for this mashup: The wildfires in Lake and Yolo counties are filling the skies with plumes of ash and smoke.

The fires, totaling 36,000 acres (about 56 sq miles, or 145 sq km), cover an area a bit larger than the city limits of San Francisco itself. While the Lake County fires are at 73% containment, the fires near Guinda in Yolo County are relatively new. Overnight they more than doubled in size to 22,000 acres. Despite burning more than 72 miles (115.8 km) away, smoke from the blazes has made them feel ever present in the Bay Area.

With dry conditions and high temperatures, California’s wildfire season is in full swing. Last week, governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Lake County.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.