The fires are large enough that they're visible from NASA's Aqua satellite. The second of the two images here was shot at 2:50 p.m. PDT yesterday. You can click on the pictures for a larger version, and HERE for a raw image of the bottom picture. The smoke, blown westward by the Santa Ana winds, easily stretches more than a hundred miles out over the Pacific.
NASA's Earth Observatory website points out that Aqua's sister satellite, called Terra, had passed over the area only three hours before, and taken the top image--showing only thin-looking smoke from several hot spots north of Los Angeles. More HERE.
If you haven't seen it already, we have a slide show of what it's like in the fire zones. Click HERE to look. And I hope you'll keep the people there in your thoughts.