The Woolsey Fire, which started Thursday around 2:30pm south of Simi Valley, has quickly spread through Ventura and L.A. County. The trendy beach resort has about 13,000 residents and 21 miles of gorgeous coastline.
"There was really no firefight involved", said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up on attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate.
Approximately 75,000 homes are under evacuation orders in Ventura and Los Angeles counties Friday morning.
The fire then pushed southward, jumped the wide USA 101 freeway before dawn Friday and pushed into the Santa Monica range. One firefighter suffered a minor injury and has been transported to a local hospital.
Authorities fear the fire, fueled by strong winds, could reach Chico - a city of 90,000 people where many Butte County families already have evacuated to shelters.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has issued mandatory evacuation orders south of the 101 freeway to Mulholland Highway.
Fires have been burning in several parts of Southern California today.
The fire near the Northern California town of Paradise has grown to almost 110 square miles (285 square kilometers).
As of Thursday evening, it was burning above Cal State University Channel Islands, in the footprint of the 2013 Springs Fire which burned 24,000 acres. In Northern California, a blaze visible by satellite consumed the town of Paradise on Thursday and had burned almost 110 square miles by Friday morning. Also shut down were the schools of the Conejo Valley School District, headquartered in Thousand Oaks, and the Los Angeles Unified School District's Topanga Elementary Charter School.
Taft High School and Pierce College are open to people in Los Angeles County.
The 69-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday to update her followers that she "had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home".
That county is also facing danger from a second fire, the Hill Fire, which sparked Thursday very near the location of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks where 12 were killed.
California's Santa Ana winds have stoked the fires, causing the Woolsley blaze to double in size to 8,000 acres, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
The fire also injured three firefighters but the total casualty picture was not yet clear.