While some residents of the towns located about 180 miles northeast of San Francisco left on their own accord Thursday night, the official evacuation orders in and around the area didn't begin until Friday morning.
Amid the chaotic spread of the Camp Fire in Butte County, which devastated the town of Paradise, scores of users took to social media Thursday and Friday to report missing family members and friends who live in the area.
Also burning farther west in Ventura County was the Hill Fire, which fire officials said burned almost 4,050 hectares by Thursday night.
Voluntary evacuations of 75,000 homes were called for because of the Woolsey Fire that included parts of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, the site of a mass shooting incident this week in which 12 people were killed.
The town of Paradise, California, which has about 27,000 people, was asked to evacuate the area.
"This was a rapidly moving fire", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told the Chico Enterprise-Record.
A California fire official says six major fires are burning around the state, and characterized three of them as "critical".More news: Samsung reveals foldable phone, Latest World News
More news: United thriving as underdogs ahead of derby clash: Herrera
More news: Facebook Messenger to introduce new 'delete sent messages' feature
On the outskirts of town, Patrick Knuthson, a fourth-generation resident, said only two of the 22 homes that once stood on his street are still there - his and a neighbor's.
"It's hard", Cal Fire Butte County Capt. John Gaddi said.
BFD spokesperson Keith May said BFD is sending one engine to assist the City of Oakland as its fire department responds to a fire on Highway 13, just south of Joaquin Miller Road. "This is a very risky wind-driven fire".
The resort is one of the most in-demand locations in California for Hollywood stars seeking privacy and luxury, and has been home to Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt and a host of other celebrities.
"There are quite a few of them we've seen, trying to escape the flames and get out, get to safety, because their home, their habitat, is on fire", she said.
Conditions in Oak Park, just north of Malibu, have been described as "surreal" and "horrific".
"We had to drive through flames to make it out safely", she said. Then she reconsidered, thinking: "I'm really scared. My home is in jeopardy but. everything with a heartbeat is safe", she said.
More than 40,000 people were ordered to evacuate on November 8 when a fire tore through Paradise, California, according to reports.