President Donald Trump has alternated between offering sympathy for displaced people and firefighters, and lashing out at California's leaders over what he deemed poor forest management.
State officials have blamed climate change and said numerous burn areas have been in federally managed lands.
"And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years", he said.
More than 8,000 firefighters in all battled three large wildfires burning across almost 400 square miles (1,040 square kilometres) in Northern and Southern California, with out-of-state crews continuing to arrive and gusty, blowtorch winds starting up again.
Almost 30 people have died from the wildfire in Northern California, with a further 230 people still unaccounted for, in what has been one of the most destructive fires on record in the state of California.
Two people were found dead in Southern California, where flames tore through Malibu mansions and working-class Los Angeles suburbs. Malibu celebrities and mobile-home dwellers in nearby mountains were slowly learning whether their homes had been spared or reduced to ash.
Gerard Butler has become the latest celebrity caught up in the U.S. wildfires now tearing through the state of California. But experts also pointed out to the president that places like Thousand Oaks, Malibu and Paradise were not "forests".
In Northern California, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the county consulted anthropologists from California State University at Chico because, in some cases, investigators have been able to recover only bones and bone fragments.
In some neighborhoods "it's very hard to determine whether or not there may be human remains there", Honea said.
Another 228 remain unaccounted for as crews stepped up the search for bodies and missing people.
The fast-moving Camp Fire blaze in the north broke out early Thursday. Cal Fire spokesman Bill Murphy warned that gusty winds overnight and on Monday morning may fan the flames.More news: 11 injured in USA bar shooting
About 300,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders, a lot of them in Southern California.
Also in Ventura County, the Hill Fire has burned through 4,531 acres and was 70 percent contained, Cal Fire said.
Hot dry winds expected to blow until tomorrow whipped up the flames and heightened the urgency of evacuation orders, officials said. But it was devastating out here in Malibu.
If granted, the major disaster declaration would trigger new fiscal and physical resources from federal agencies.
Drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change and home construction deeper into forests have led to more destructive wildfire seasons in California that have been starting earlier and lasting longer.
California Volunteers: The state office manages volunteer programs in California.
This story was originally published Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.
His wife added: "Here's the thing: It takes about 10 years to grow a Christmas tree".
One of the Northern California fire's victims was an ailing woman whose body was found in bed in a burned-out house in Concow, near Paradise.
"My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong", she continued.
It has been more than 210 days since the area received half an inch or more of rain, making it easy for spot fires to spread to fresh patches of tinder-dry vegetation, fire officials said on Sunday. He assumed she had escaped the inferno and was trying to find her at rescue centres until authorities confirmed her death late Friday.
No houses or businesses have been lost, but a number of RVs and outbuildings have been burned, and a firefighter suffered a minor injury, authorities said.
In Northern California, where more than 6,700 buildings have been destroyed, the scope of the devastation was beginning to set in even as the blaze raged on.