As reported in my last post, the Caliente area was covered by a thick blanket of smoke most of the time I was there, especially on August 30th through September 1st (and possibly after that, but I wasn't there to observe). Local speculation was that the smoke was most likely from fires in nearby Utah, such as the large Mill Flat Fire.
Satellite images I've seen since leaving Caliente show that most or all of the smoke in the Caliente area was from fires in California. This post at the CIMSS Satellite Blog, especially, shows the plume from the Station Fire in southern CA going across the Caliente area on August 30th, then clearing somewhat during part of August 31st. Smoke returned to the area on September 1st. The related high-altitude carbon monoxide mass or plume is shown here by JPL.
The above view is from the road to the Ella Mountain Lookout, looking to the east.