Surreal images from sports venues in California's Bay Area on Wednesday night underscored the shocking toll weeks of forest fires have wreaked on the region's air quality and visibility.
The Wednesday evening sky looked like a fiery hellscape hovering over Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, as well as at the nearby Oakland Coliseum, where the Athletics play.
The smoke-filled skies created a daylong orange haze over the Bay Area, ominously blocking out the sun while filling the air with small pieces of burning ash.
A's manager Bob Melvin said it was like playing indoors.
"The lights were on when I first got here," ESPN reported. "It's like we're in a dome. It has been dark out there all day. I don't have any sunglasses to go out there with today. I have a white hat on today, see what color it is when I come in afterward. Little experiment on my behalf today."
Air quality was below 100 before first pitch, according to ESPN. Two-hundred is generally considered the upper threshold for safe play, the story said.
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, whose team was in Oakland to face the A's, owns a home in northern California and said the fires were a concern, according to the Associated Press.
“There are fires all over the West Coast here and I was actually playing Jimi Hendrix today, ‘The Sky is Crying.’ The sky was crying today. I thought I was going to go outside and see Marlon Brando in ‘Apocalypse Now.’ It’s just a strange and eerie feeling,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the NFL's San Francisco 49ers practiced in similar conditions outside their arena, Levi's Stadium.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said the bizarre scene looked like something from the end times, ESPN reported.
"We just got back in from walk-through and it's orange out here, too," Shanahan said. "I feel like I'm in 'The Book of Eli' -- it's like an apocalyptic state out there."
The NFL was monitoring air conditions on the West Coast ahead of Sunday's season openers, the story said, and will also generally call off games if the air quality index surges to around 200 or above.
The air quality was in the high 60s for most of Wednesday's practice, according to the report, which is an improvement over where it had been in the weeks prior. The team altered practice at times and excused a couple players from participation when the air quality was in the 150s in late August, it said.