The blaze, which spewed massive plumes of thick black smoke, also threatened parts of the nearby town of Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people in a rampage on Wednesday.
About 500 miles (800 km) to the north, nine people were found dead in and around the Northern California town of Paradise, where more than 6,700 homes and businesses were burned down by the Camp Fire.
In recent days, warm, dry winds have swept Southern California, which has seen just one rainstorm in the past several months.
About two-thirds of the city of Malibu was ordered evacuated early Friday as a ferocious wildfire roared toward the beachside community that is home to about 13,000 residents, some of them Hollywood celebrities.
Meteorologists marvelled at the "gut-wrenching" rate of spread Thursday's fires exhibited.
Dozens of people have been reported missing and remained unaccounted for Friday morning.
Numerous dead are people who were in their cars attempting to flee the racing flames.
On Friday, the flames jumped Highway 101 and headed into coastal areas.
"It's my sad duty to confirm that we now have a total of nine fatalities", he said, four more fatalities beyond the five reported earlier.
- Driven by howling winds and dangerously low humidity, a brush fire that began in Ventura County but raced over the Los Angeles County line continued a relentless march toward the Pacific Ocean Friday, forcing thousands of people from their homes as evacuation orders were imposed for the entirety of Malibu. At least one family was grieving both tragedies, losing a loved one in the shooting and being forced to evacuate because of the fire all within 24 hours, according to the Los Angeles Times.
FOX 11 reporter Gina Silva stood by with residents as the fire moved in on their Westlake Village homes.
Rescuers used a bulldozer to push abandoned cars out of the way in order to reach a hospital and evacuate patients as the fire engulfed the building, Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter said.
Police officer and resident Mark Bass described the apocalyptic scenes, saying: 'We were surrounded by fire, we were driving through fire on each side of the road'.
President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds for Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
These are firestorms - towering, fast-moving walls of flames hundreds of feet high - the kind of fires that are not only uncontrolled by firefighters, but uncontrollable.
Captain Scott McLean, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also said there was "really no firefight involved", explaining the crews had to give up attacking the flames and turn their attention to helping people get out alive.