Nearly 200,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes in California as firefighters battle several raging wildfires.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Diego on Thursday after a new blaze spread from 10 acres to 4,100 acres in just a few hours.

Three firefighters have been injured and about 500 buildings destroyed.

One death has been reported - a woman's body was found in a burned-out area in Ventura County.

But an official told the Ventura Country Star newspaper that the death, in the town of Ojai, may have been the result of a car crash not related to the fire.

About 5,700 firefighters have been battling the brushfires, officials said on Thursday, with firefighters drafted in from neighbouring states to help.

The Thomas fire in Ventura County remains the largest, burning 180 square miles so far
The Thomas fire in Ventura County to the north of Los Angeles remains the largest of the blazes and has spread as far as the Pacific coast.

It has consumed 180 square miles (466 sq km) since it broke out on Monday, and destroyed more than 430 buildings, fire officials said.

A BBC correspondent in Ojai says the blaze is burning in the hills all around and more than 100 fire engines have been seen driving through the town centre.
A Reuters news agency photographer in San Diego county, site of the Lilac fire, described seeing propane tanks under houses explode like bombs.

Some 450 elite racehorses in the area were let loose from their stables to escape to safety, the Associated Press news agency reports. Not all survived, but it's not known how many died.

By Thursday afternoon local time, California's fire service said the blaze had forced the evacuation of 189,000 residents.

The White House said it was in contact with Californian authorities and ready to offer whatever help is needed

It seems wrong that there are fires in December. Maybe California is dryer than I know.

Don't make old people mad.We don't like being old in the first place so it doesn't take much to piss us off!

“I'm about to do something very clever and a tiny bit against the rules of the universe. It's important that
I'm properly dressed.” Doctor Who

If you’re Gonna fight, fight like you're the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark… and brother, it's startin' to rain.”
― Christopher Woods,

I can tell by the position of the sun in the sky, that is time for us to go. Until next time, I am Lothar of the Hill People!