Kiwi family flees massive California wildfires which have killed nine

At least nine people have been killed as hundreds of thousands are been forced to evacuate as massive wildfires rage in California.

The celebrity town of Malibu has been evacuated, while inland, the town of Paradise has been destroyed.

Unpredictable fires, whipped up by winds, are burning out of control across thousands of hectares, destroying dozens of homes.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling blazes from the ground, while an aerial assault attacks it from above.

But resources are stretched across the two large fires burning across the state of California. The largest, named Camp Fire, burns north of San Francisco, while the second is just outside of Malibu.

Fleeing the flames was a Kiwi family, forced to leave with their 10-year-old daughter while on holiday.

"It was very frightening... all you could hear was the roar of the fire way back in the distance, and then it just got darker and darker and darker and start raining ash and charcoal from the trees," said Barry Hawkins.

Among those in the heart of the destruction was one woman's grandfather who was desperate to stay.

"I've been trying to get him to leave. I don't want him to be here," she said.

For others returning to their properties as the fire moves on, all many can find is the blackened remains of their homes.