President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold federal payments to California over "gross mismanagement" of its forests as the state is ravaged by three massive wildfires.

In a 2am tweet, Trump wrote: "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.

"Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds to help the thousands of firefighters struggling to contain the flames that have already torched more than 200 square miles across the state, reports The Daily Mail.


The blaze has incinerated most of the Northern California town of Paradise and killed at least nine people.

The Camp Fire in Butte County north of Sacramento was only 5 per cent contained as of 1.30am local time on Saturday.

In Southern California, the Hill and Woolsey fires have already scorched more than 40,000 acres, forcing more than 250,000 residents near Ventura and Los Angeles counties to evacuate.

Those fires, which remained fully out of control, descended on the town of Thousand Oaks from both sides, threatening the community still reeling from a mass shooting that left a dozen dead at a local bar earlier in the week.