Thousands of California residents have fled their homes as the third-largest wildfire in the state’s history rages on.
As the fire spreads towards the wealthy enclave of Montecito, celebrity homeowners shared their fears over the approaching wildfires.
Asking his followers to “pray for Santa Barbara”, actor Rob Lowe shared a photo showing his home surrounded by towering flames and smoke.
Next to another picture of trees blowing in the wind in front of a red, flame-filled sky, he wrote: “Horror and beauty.”
Under another picture showing him helping firefighters push back the flames, Lowe wrote: “Helping earlier today. You do what you can, but when it’s time.. you GO.”
Winds of up to 60mph have fed the wildfires tearing through the state – with mandatory evacuation orders put in place across Montecito, neighbouring Summerland and a portion of Santa Barbara.
Other celebrities forced to flee the fashionable coastal foothills northwest of Los Angeles including Chrissy Teigen, Paris Hilton and Chelsea Handler.
Thanking the firefighters risking their lives, Hilton tweeted: “This wildfire in LA is terrifying! My house is now being evacuated to get all of my pets out of there safely.”
The 404-square-mile fire – named the “Thomas Fire” – has been moving rapidly westward north of Montecito, home to Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and other celebrities.
Winfrey tweeted: “Still praying for our little town. Winds picked up this morning creating a perfect storm of bad for firefighters.”
Workers at the Santa Barbara Zoo began preparing their animals for evacuation – warning members of the public not to assist but to stay safe themselves.
The fire – which has been burning for over two weeks – is now the third-largest in California’s history, burning more than 700 homes and killing a firefighter.
Pierre Henry, a Montecito bakery owner, said he received a text to evacuate on Saturday morning as the fire approached homes.
“The worst was the smoke,” he said.
“You couldn’t breathe at all and it became worse when the wind started. All the ashes and the dust on the street were in the air. It was very, very frightening.”
Authorities say the fire has burned another six square miles of vegetation.
California Governor Jerry Brown said the wildfires ravaging his state should serve as a warning to parts of the world threatened by climate change.
“The important fact is that these fires are going to become a very frequent occurrence. That’s what the science is telling us,” Mr Brown said.
“It’s a real indicator of bad things to come, and hopefully will serve to wake up people who right now are too complacent.”
Santa Barbara County Fire Department Division Chief Martin Johnson added: “It’s a beast… but we will kill it.”