A massive fire described as the biggest in the history of Los Angeles was raging today, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.

Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters that the blaze, which broke out yesterday and lit up the hills surrounding the northern suburb of Burbank overnight, had already burnt 5,000 acres.

He said: "In terms of acres involved this is probably the largest fire in LA city history."

Los Angeles fire

The blaze has so far destroyed one house and forced the evacuation of nearly 500 homes in various parts of the city and neighbouring Glendale.

More than 500 firefighters were mobilised, while 100 others who had been deployed in Houston, Texas, to help rescue operations after Hurricane Harvey were asked to return.

The fire broke out on the US Labour Day long weekend and as the western part of the country was facing a summer heatwave.

Authorities said wind was their main concern because it could whip up the flames and allow it to spread quickly in unpredictable directions.