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Dark Orange Skies Explained

Dark Orange Sky

The current dark orange skies are caused by a combination of fog and wildfire smoke (Please see a video message from Mayor Breed here). While this unexpected daytime darkness may look frightening, it is currently safe to work and to be outside.  

The current wind patterns are keeping smaller smoke particles up high and blocking the sunlight. Air quality at ground level is currently at moderate levels.  Our COVID-19 face coverings provide some protection from the larger ash particles that are reaching ground level. While the air quality is currently at safe levels, there is reduced visibility outside. Please take caution while driving or walking.

If the wind patterns change, we may see a drop in air quality.  In this scenario, City departments and employees will be instructed about what they need to do to stay safe.  Please respond to DSW alert messages, monitor Air Quality and get other safety updates at and by signing  up for AlertSF.   

Thank you for all you do for San Francisco.