The true scale of destruction was hard to gauge, with 16 deaths confirmed so far this week as wide stretches of California, Oregon and Washington remain cut off by flames.
The biggest recorded blaze in Californian history -- the August Complex Fire -- has ripped through 746,000 acres (302,000 hectares) of dry vegetation in the state's north, as multiple fires combined under high temperatures and strong, dry winds.
But it is just one of around 100 large fires on the US West Coast, and other rapidly growing blazes closer to populated areas have proven more deadly.
So far, 10 people have been confirmed dead in northern California's Butte County.
"We are at a complete loss for words right now," Bobbie Zedaker told the San Francisco Chronicle, after DNA tests proved her missing 16-year-old nephew Josiah Williams was among those killed.
Two more people were killed near the rural community of Happy Camp, a Cal Fire spokeswoman told AFP Friday.