California wildfires are now the most destructive in state history

Credit PA

Credit PA

Mariah Bush, 18, said she's grateful to be alive after escaping the so-called Camp Fire - which is the deadliest blaze in California history, killing at least 42 with dozens more reported missing.

As wildfires rage these days in southern California, burning glitzy towns like Malibu, the roster of evacuees reads like the guest list at the Oscars.

More than 300,000 people have been evacuated across California since the fires began.

"I am thinking so deeply for everyone who is suffering today from these abominable fires & grieving the loss of their homes or loved ones", she wrote.

"I extend my love to each and every one of you", Gaga told the displaced crowd at Pacific Palisades High School, according to TMZ.

More than 300,000 California residents have had to flee their homes.

Most of the fatalities have been reported from the town of Paradise, population 26,000, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains about 130 kilometres north of Sacramento.

"I'm sitting here with many of you wondering if my home will burst into flames". Some 52,000 residents have been forced to evacuate.

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Below are before and after images from Paradise showing the level of devastation the town has suffered.

"Unfortunately, the best science is telling us that the dryness, warmth, drought, all those things, they're going to intensify", Brown said.

Firefighters are now bracing for the return of the Santa Ana winds, which threaten to fuel the huge Woolsey blaze stretching from north of Los Angeles to the Pacific coast, which is at 35 percent contained as of Tuesday morning.

The Camp fire up north was 35 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said Tuesday.

A helicopter makes a water drop on the Woolsey Fire near Malibu, California.

Expected high winds through Tuesday could only worsen the flames, authorities said, adding that the blaze isn't expected to be contained until November 30. "A house can be rebuilt, but it's just memorabilia that was in there that we can never get back".

Gaga thanked the firefighters who were working tirelessly to keep the fires at bay.

"This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal", California Governor Jerry Brown said in a stark warning over the likely damaging effects of climate change. The first notice came on Thursday, when investigators found the remains of five people in Paradise who were apparently trapped in their cars by the blaze.

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