Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Watch: Alaskan Airlines plane flies through blood orange skies in California

The Embraer 175 navigated rust-coloured smoke as it departed San Francisco International Airport

As California continues to burn from bushfires, pilots flying in and out of the state are having to navigate orange, smoke-filled skies.

A video of a plane taking off from San Francisco International Airport last Thursday showed some of the conditions that pilots are dealing with.

Airport authorities shared the take-off video of Alaskan Airlines Flight 3458 as it departed for Palm Springs.

In the video, the airport disappears from view shortly after take-off and is replaced by thick orange smoke. As the aircraft ascends above the clouds, visibility improves but the surrounding sky remains vividly rust-coloured.

The Embraer jet navigates through thick clouds that look almost like a desert sandstorm before finally reaching a height where the clouds begin to turn white again and a blue sky is visible in the distance.

Similar scenes were shared on social media depicting jets landing and departing under eerie orange-hued skies that were described by many as apocalyptic.

Cars driving across the state had to keep their headlights on as the thick orange smoke blocked out the Sun. On Twitter, the hashtag #Orangesky was trending as people posted images and videos of scenes from across the state.

On Sunday, September 13, the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic report said "smoke and haze from wildfires are likely in San Francisco and Seattle".

More than 20,000 firefighters from across the US are battling sprawling deadly bushfires up and down the West Coast, many of which have been spurred by record-breaking temperatures. A spate of fires in El Dorado last week were ignited by a spark from a gender reveal party.

Bushfires have destroyed more than 1.2 million hectares in California this year, the highest recorded damage in a single year.

Updated: September 13, 2020 03:50 PM

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