About 60 thousand people fled their homes in the vicinity of Los Angeles due to the rapidly spreading wildfire, which covered an area of more than 3 thousand hectares.
The fire blocked key roads and severely injured two firefighters.
The so-called Silverado fire broke out early Monday morning in the Irvine foothills, about 60 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles, and spread quickly thanks to dry weather and changeable winds that prevented firefighting planes from flying.
By noon, the area of the fire had almost quadrupled, it crossed the highway and covered the area with a huge plume of smoke and ash.
Residents of about 20,000 homes were evacuated, as well as several public schools that will remain closed on Tuesday.