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In pictures: The animals caught in California's wildfires

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  • California wildfires
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image captionScores of people are missing across the state, as fast-moving fires continue to burn

As deadly wildfires burn across California, communities are counting the toll in not just human losses, but in wildlife and household pets too.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that animal owners in at-risk areas have evacuation plans for animals in place, but because of how urgent some orders were, many were unable to return home for their pets and other animals.

  • California wildfires reach grim milestone

Residents have been using social media to spread images of their lost animals around the internet.

Dedicated accounts, groups and hashtags have also been set up by online volunteers to help reunite pets with their owners.

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As tens of thousands of acres burn cross the state, images have emerged of animals being evacuated.

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image captionSome evacuating residents were able to take their pets with them
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image captionIt was not just household pets who were loaded up by fleeing owners
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image captionA dog in Butte County is treated by members of emergency vet response team for burned paws

On Friday, some residents living close to the Woolsey Fire ravaging the Malibu area took their large animals down to a local beach for protection.

Local fire officials opened up Zuma Beach as an evacuation point for large animals, leading to surreal scenes on the usual spot for tourists.

Wally Skahlij, a photographer for the Los Angeles Times, took a set of striking photographs on the beach, including one of an owl resting in the sand as the fire engulfed the skyline.

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image captionOfficials recommend horses should be marked with contact details as a last resort
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Actress Alyssa Milano appealed to her Twitter followers on Friday to try and get help for her five horses to safety.

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She was among the hundreds of thousands of California residents who have had to evacuate their homes across the state.

The wildfire season usually starts in summer and runs into early autumn there, but recent low humidity, dry conditions and warm fast-moving winds have created ideal conditions for blazes to spread.

In Paradise, a town north of Sacramento, thousands of buildings have been destroyed and at least 29 people are known to have died, with more than 200 others still unaccounted for.

Despite the widespread destruction, some pets have been recovered there alive, giving hope to survivors who are still missing theirs.

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The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The effort is complicated because often animals caught up in fires flee or hide, especially when injured.

Pets lost in fires earlier this year are still being reunited with owners, as volunteers use elaborate baiting techniques to try and recapture the animals.

Around Butte County where the November fires have been the most deadly, emergency workers and volunteers, including the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, have been going into the affected areas to give emergency supplies to larger farm animals that had to be been left behind.

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image captionA deer explores a residential area destroyed by the fire in Paradise

Local animal services across California have urged people who are able to adopt or foster pets from shelters to do so in order to make room for those being brought in on an emergency basis.

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Some that have been rescued have been found with extensive burns, complicating reunification efforts.

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image captionLos Angeles zoo temporarily evacuated some animals and closed on Friday

Several online fundraising appeals have been set up to pay veterinary bills for animals that have been found with burn injuries.

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The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

In some places, veterinarians have been working in groups to try and treat injured and lost animals for free.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThis dog, named Fatty, received burns to his eyes and chin during the Camp Fire in Paradise
image copyrightReuters
image captionReuben, a comfort dog, is petted at a church being used as an emergency shelter in Chico, California

People who are missing their animals have been advised to check designated local rescue points - including airports and even casinos - where animals are being taken on an emergency basis.

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image captionA dog recovered from an abandoned home is transferred to a rescue point
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image captionA police officer tends to a horse that was found wandering near Paradise
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image captionFire Captain Steve Millosovich carries rescued cats in Big Bend

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