Residents in Northern California woke up on Wednesday to a state in a massive orange haze as smoke from raging wildfires caused an almost apocalyptic scene across the State and the Bay Area. As the Los Angeles Times reports:
From San Francisco to Yosemite, social media was filled with images of ominous red and orange skies and smoky air. It was so dark outside, many residents had interior lights flipped on even as midday approached.
The National Weather Service explained the conditions this way: “As the winds weaken aloft, gravity will take over as the primary vertical transport of the smoke. Suspended smoke will descend closer to the surface and could lead to darker skies and worsening air quality today.”
Local authorities are urging residents to stay indoors for their own safety as air quality reaches dangerous levels. If you are in the area, you could use Purple Air, a free online map showing real-time air quality levels around the world.
Apple’s own HQ, Apple Park situated in Cupertino California also woke up on Wednesday to getting covered in this orange smoke. A Snapchat story posted at around 1 PM EST shows the area surrounding the space-shape headquarter being completely engulfed in the orange smog.
While the video doesn’t show much of the campus, it does show its iconic ring design at the end and the location of the post on the Snapchat map confirms its indeed Apple Park. Other images and posts on social media in Cupertino alongside San Fransico and the Bay Area show the cities covered in what some are describing as “raining ash”.
The number of Apple employees and staff at Apple Park at this point in time remains unknown. In an interview in July following Apple’s blockbuster Q3 earnings call CEO Tim Cook said that US employees won’t return to Apple Park until early 2021. He added in the interview that the company’s approach to returning staff to their offices will be in line with its strategy for opening retail stores.
Mr. Cook says that Apple will reopen offices and return staff to work based on COVID19 data and close them as needed. Apple closed all of its retail stores in March as the pandemic started to kick off. Recently, the company is slowly reopening stores however has shown it isn’t scared to reclose them if COVID19 cases and transmission pick up in their location.
Apple will hold an online event, streamed from Apple Park on Sept. 15th where the company will unveil its next Apple Watch and iPad, with an iPhone 12 event slated for October. An earlier leak suggested that Apple recorded a keynote on August 17th. Whether true and if so whether its the Sept. 15th keynote in specific is a mystery. Currently, there are no reasons to believe Apple is in any way impacted by the wildfires and its toxic air as employees due to COVID19 are already required to wear a face mask.