Did you know you can see the smoke from the southern California wildfires on the 2KM and 4KM Pacific satellite photos? Check out the Satellite link on the National Weather Service web site (this link should display the forecast for Oakland, from which you can see the Pacific satellite shots).
In fact, SFGATE.com has a NASA satellite image in which you can see the flames. From orbit.
Sorry, folks, but this is the price we pay to live in a state where fire is a normal part of the ecosystem. It's also the price we pay for suppressing fire for a century - the fuel built up to the point that, once it starts, we can't stop it. The native Americans, I recall reading, used to schedule controlled burns on damp calm fall days; but they didn't build housing developments.
I don't see it online, but the article on the fires in today's paper Chronicle says that people in San Diego watched the flames hopscotch over I-15 - a 10 lane freeway. These fires are being driven by Santa Ana winds up to 100 mph - I don't see how they can stop them until the wind dies. I'm just grateful that Northern California is only getting mild winds and (at the moment) nothing serious is burning. The Oakland Hills Fire was 16 years ago, but I still get nervous on a hot windy fall day.
There's no moral to this post. I'm just scared. And the fires are 500 miles away.