If you live outside southern California, and you want an idea of why the wildfires there are such news, take a look from above.
This image, shot by NASA's Aqua satellite, shows a plume of smoke that extends diagonally northeast from the center of the frame, beyond the Nevada border. NASA's Earth Observatory site, which provided the image, helped it with the red outlines of the fire zones themselves, but the smoke is not enhanced. Click on the image, or HERE, to enlarge.There is smoke, apparently, as far away as Colorado, where the state has issued a health advisory for the soot in the air.I showed this picture, and others, to a couple of editors around here, and they said that from space the smoke looks like clouds. It apparently doesn't from the ground.