Not much to add about the fires, except to marvel over pictures like this one..
Yes, that's smoke wafting hundreds of miles offshore. As a kid I vaguely remember seeing wildfires burning across the ranges just north of the LA Basin and the big deal they made out of them. But are these fires any worse? Are we seeing the effects of global warming?
Hard to conclusively say but we can take a look at the 100 year temperature graph for San Diego's Lindbergh Field. Notice the steady upward trend through the late 1980s followed by a gradual leveling off or slight downward trend ever the last decade. As you can see, it's tough to pin everything entirely on local temperatures without considering precipitation and commercial development, among other things. But for some it's never too early to profit off speculation.
Not endorsing this, only throwing it out there. I've been watching cable news for several hours and the only thing mentioned about origin was some downed power lines.
Apparently a ton of people must be linking to the San Diego Lindbergh GISS temp trend because it's offline. Here's the trend from San Diego North Island NAS, which shows a similar slight cooling in the past decade. And check out Cuyamaca, which has shown little change since the 1940s.
Not saying there's anything going on here...OK, I probably am. The temp trace from San Diego Lindbergh remains unavailable as of 2300Z today from James Hansen's GISS site. All you get from clicking the link is a "+" (guess they couldn't make it a "-" eh). As mentioned above, many of the San Diego area sites including Lindbergh show a gradual cooling of the average temperature beginning about 1990 to present.
Hansen...you remember him, right?