More than 2,000 firefighters backed by 17 helicopters have been deployed against the Oak Fire, which broke out Friday near Yosemite National Park.
More than 6,000 people have been evacuated as a fierce wildfire in California spread aggressively on Sunday burning several thousand acres and forcing evacuations, at a time when America is going through a scorching heat wave with temperatures at record highs, according to an AFP report.
More than 2,000 firefighters backed by 17 helicopters have been deployed against the Oak Fire, which broke out Friday near Yosemite National Park, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) said in a report.
Two days after it began the blaze had already consumed more than 14,200 acres and remained zero percent contained as heat combined with low humidity were hampering efforts on Sunday.
"Extreme drought conditions have led to critical fuel moisture levels," according to CAL FIRE's report.
Described as "explosive" by officials, the blaze has left ashes, destroyed vehicles and twisted remains of properties in its wake, as emergency personnel worked to evacuate residents and protect structures in its path.
It has already destroyed 10 properties and damaged five others, with thousands more threatened.
"It was scary when we left because we were getting ashes on us but we had such a visual of this billowing. It just seemed like it was above our house and coming our way really quickly," one woman who had to be evacuated, Lynda Reynolds-Brown, told local news station KCRA.
"Explosive fire behaviour is challenging firefighters", California's fire department said.
More than 6,000 people have been evacuated and 10 homes destroyed.
A state of emergency has been declared in Mariposa County which will allow the state to access some federal assistance to tackle the fires.
The scale of the blaze at the start of California's wildfire season is staggering and officials have warned that a combination of drought, climate change, and overgrown vegetation are posing significant challenges and increasing the chances of the fire spreading rapidly.
Yosemite National Park, which lies to the north-east of where Oak Fire is burning, is home to some of the largest and oldest sequoia trees in the world. The redwoods were threatened by another blaze earlier this month, but firefighters managed to save them.