California Wildfire

Man charged over California wildfire

Damin Pashilk, 40, faces 17 counts of arson and is suspected of involvement in numerous other fires in Lake County over the past year.

The massive Clayton Fire began on Saturday evening and has been fuelled by fierce winds.

It has wiped out whole blocks in the working-class town of Lower Lake.

It is 5% contained and poses a risk to 1,500 additional structures, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

California struggles to contain wildfire near Los Angeles

The fire covers more than 22,000 acres and residents of about 1,500 homes near Santa Clarita have been evacuated.

A body has been found in a burned-out car but it is not clear if the death is fire-related.

Strong winds have fanned the flames and blown smoke and ash across Los Angeles.

"It started consuming houses that were non-defendable," said Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief John Tripp.

He said the flames had charged through the terrain "like a freight train".

2 more bodies found bringing death toll in wildfires to 5

The Lake County Sheriff's office says official identifications have yet to be made, but they are presumed to be the bodies of Bruce Beven Burns and former San Jose Mercury News police reporter, Leonard Neft, 69. Burns age was not released.

Neft last spoke with his family Saturday evening.

Authorities earlier found his burned-out car on the route he would have used to escape.