Trump declares State of Emergency amid California wildfires

Approximately 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes

Trump declares State of Emergency amid California wildfires

Firefighters battle a wind driven brush fire in Fallbrook, California, 08-Dec-2017. Image: Steven K. Doi/Zuma Press/PA Images

The US President Donald Trump has declared a State of Emergency as wildfires continue to rage across Southern California.

The fires have been burning for five days with at least 500 structures and buildings destroyed.

Approximately 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.

President Trump’s declaration will release federal assistance to back up the local emergency services’ response.

Nearly 6,000 fire fighters are battling to keep the flames under control.

Six major wildfires and a number of smaller blazes have been burning since Monday, stoked by fierce winds.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fires had threatened 23,000 homes as of early this morning. 

The Los Angeles Police Department has warned residents not to trust GPS satellite navigation equipment amid reports drivers were being inadvertently directed towards the fires.