Jarring satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed a massive cloud of smoke settling almost completely over California, and the western parts of Oregon, on Wednesday.
See how the wildfire smoke looks from space by playing the video player above.
An air quality warning remains in effect for the entire Central Valley until the wildfires are extinguished, ABC30 meteorologist Madeline Evans said.
"If you stay outside too long with those particles from smoke, it can be very harmful to your respiratory system," Evans added.
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The air quality for Fresno and Kings counties was unhealthy on Wednesday, while Madera, Merced and Tulare counties were unhealthy for sensitive groups. Gusting winds also left the potential for a worsening air quality index into the afternoon.
The Central Valley was not alone when it came to waking up to smoky skies.
People from San Francisco to Seattle also saw hazy clouds of smoke darkening the sky to an eerie orange glow that kept street lights illuminated into midday.
Social media was filled with photos of the unusual sky and many people complained their cellphone cameras weren't accurately capturing the golden hues.
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Strong winds from the north and northeast pushed smoke from devastating wildfires in Oregon and Washington state into lower elevations, said Roger Gass, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Bay Area.
"The sheer amount of smoke, the multiple layers of smoke above us in the atmosphere are combining to darken our sky," he said.
People in communities from southern Oregon to north of Seattle have seen blood-red skies and choking smoke.
Gass said winds coming from the Pacific Ocean will likely continue to push the smoke across the West, worsening air quality.
"Everybody wants to know, when is this going to get better," Gass said. "We have to remember as long as the fires keep burning they're going to continue to produce smoke."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.