The southern California fires have doubled in size since Wednesday night and fire crews have relentlessly battled to get control of the blaze.

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CALIFORNIA’S Holy Fire exploded to more than 22,714 acres on Sunday as firefighters worked to keep the blaze away from homes in Riverside County’s Lake Elsinore area.

Video footage shows the flames work their way down a hillside and towards a group of homes.

The shocking footage then shows the true extent of the blaze as flames light up an entire hillside as they spread into neighbourhoods.

The California fires have been worsened by hot weather drought conditions, which have contributed to the fire spreading over 10,200 acres.

The fire started on Monday afternoon near the Riverside and Orange County border in Cleveland National Forest.

The Holy fire increased in size near the Horsethief Canyon area on Wednesday and then jumped the North Main Divide dirt road, burning into the Lake Elsinore area of Riverside County.

As the blaze headed toward the Lake Elsinore area, communities to the northwest of the lake in Riverside County were urged to flee their homes.

The McVicker Canyon, Rice Canyon, Horsethief Canyon, El Cariso, Rancho Capistrano, Blue Jay, Indian Canyon, Glen Eden, Sycamore Creek and Mayhew Canyon communities are under mandatory evacuation orders.

holy fire California fires latest 2018 map

The fire is so far just five percent contained, despite the efforts from firefighters to control the blaze with dozens of firefighting aircraft dropping fire retardant.

Lake Elsinore Mayor Natasha Johnson said the blaze has been “devastating”. She told CBS: “We can’t control fire.

“We can do our best to protect, but this is heartbreaking and devastating.”

Wildfire season in California has broken records this year, with the previous largest fire – Thomas Fire – being overtaken by the Mendocino Complex Fire.

The Mendocino Complex Fire has now grown larger than the city of Los Angeles, measuring at least 302,086 acres.

The huge size of the Mendocino fire has led to the announcement that fire crews will be unable to fully contain the blaze until early September.