In the northern part of the state, at least five people have been found dead in scorched cars after having tried to flee the disastrous Camp Fire burning about 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the state capitol.
The blaze also threatened parts of the nearby town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people earlier this week in a shooting rampage at a college bar.
California fire captain Scott McLean said earlier that "pretty much the entire community of Paradise is destroyed", adding that the fire had grown to nearly 110 square miles - four times its original size.
Thousands of people in California have had to flee ahead of a wildfire that has consumed thousands of hectares of land and continues to grow, courtesy of strong winds.
The 20,000-acre (8,100-hectare) fire north of Sacramento started in the Plumas National Forest on Thursday and quickly engulfed the town of Paradise.
Harrowing tales of escape and heroic rescues emerged from Paradise, where the entire community of 27,000 was ordered to evacuate. He estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.
By early Friday morning, there were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. Two fires there are rapidly expanding towards the coast causing the city of Malibu to evacuate.
The blaze, which broke out on Thursday, had more than tripled in size to 2838ha and was only 5% contained.
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The fire has also reportedly destroyed the set for popular TV series Westworld, with one person tweeting photos of the destruction saying it had "burned to the ground". The director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services says fires across California have forced 157,000 people from their homes.
"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate.
"It is what we feared for a long time", Honea said, noting there was no time to knock on residents' doors one-by-one.
Maclean said an as yet unspecified number of civilians and firefighters had been injured, and that it could be days before authorities would know whether anyone had died. The she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared, this is terrifying, I can't breathe, I can't see and maybe I should humble myself and get in this woman's auto".
Most of its buildings are in ruin.
As the Woolsey Fire made its way across Ventura County, it burned around the Santa Susana Field Lab, a site that has been considered "significantly contaminated" by decades of rocket and nuclear reactor testing and a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959. "I just had to evacuate my home from the fires".
Malibu and Calabasas, west of Los Angeles, are home to hundreds of celebrities and entertainment executives attracted by ocean views, rolling hills and large, secluded estates.
It easily jumped eight-lane Highway 101 and rambled over the Santa Monica Mountains to posh Malibu, where it torched homes and cars.