Vice President Mike Pence speaks to California amid wildfires

Vice President Mike Pence spoke in Anaheim, California on Monday as wildfires raged through the state, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least ten people.

Vice President Mike Pence offered gratitude Tuesday morning to firefighters battling California wildfires and pledged federal support.

The Trump administration has made a federal major disaster declaration for California, Pence also announced in Sacramento.

Wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through California wine country Monday killing at least 11 people, destroying 1,500 homes and businesses and forcing 20,000 residents to be evacuated.

Fires raged unchecked down tree-lined streets and through upmarket neighborhoods, reducing a Hilton hotel to ash and turning the sky above Disneyland bright orange.

Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency as fourteen large fires burned over a 200-mile region north of San Francisco from Napa in the south to Redding in the north, fanned by 50mph winds.

At least 11 people are known to have died including a married couple, aged 100 and 99, who were unable to evacuate in time. A deaf-blind woman is also believed to be among the dead.

Those figures are expected to climb sharply in the coming days as emergency crews pick through the wreckage of burned communities. Taken together, the fires are already among the deadliest California has ever witnessed.