Firefighters have battled several intense wildfires that have swept across densely populated southern California, destroying at least 500 structures and chasing 190,000 people from their homes.
Early on Friday, more than 5700 firefighters worked to stop the spread of six large wildfires and other smaller blazes that have erupted since Monday, ranging from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County and stoked by fierce winds.
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Firefighters and helicopters sprayed and dumped water and fire retardant on flames against a hellish backdrop of flaming mountains and walls of smoke as the blaze jumped over highways and train tracks and torched rows of houses.
The fires had forced about 190,000 people to flee and threatened 23,000 homes as of late on Thursday, CAL FIRE said on Twitter.
The Thomas fire northwest of Los Angeles grew to 46,540ha from 38,850ha and destroyed 439 structures, officials said.
North of San Diego, another blaze called the Lilac fire grew from 4ha to 1659ha in just a few hours on Thursday, CAL FIRE said, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for San Diego County.
The other fires, which broke out on Monday and Tuesday, have reached into the wealthy enclave of Bel-Air on the west side of Los Angeles.
Some highways in the densely populated area were intermittently closed.
The Los Angeles Police Department tweeted, "LAPD Working to Save Every Californian, Pets Included" along with a photo of a police officer in a respirator rescuing a cat.
The Skirball fire has forced hundreds of residents in the wooded hills near Bel-Air to flee and charred more than 192ha.
It threatened media magnate Rupert Murdoch's Moraga Estate winery, which was evacuated.
Murdoch said some buildings were possibly damaged but "we believe the winery and house are still intact".