Holidaymakers already in California should avoid any travel to Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Yuba, which are the worst affected areas at this time.
Instead, concentrate your travels in southern California, in cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego which are safe and well away from the current danger.
In its travel advice update, the FCO said: “Large wildfires have broken out in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Nevada, Calaveras, Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake in the State of California.
“A state of emergency has been declared in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba. Evacuation orders are in place in several areas and emergency shelters have been opened.
“Some infrastructure has been damaged, including phone communications and internet access. Wildfires can spread swiftly so always remain cautious.
“Thousands are under mandatory evacuation orders. Several smaller fires have developed in the region and the fire risk remains extremely high. ”The fires are being exacerbated by dry conditions and sustained winds around 35-45 miles per hour, with gusts reaching 80 miles per hour. Under these conditions wildfires can spread swiftly, so you should remain cautious.
“Monitor local media reports and follow the advice of local law enforcement officials, including any evacuation orders.” The fire is pushing west towards the Pacific Ocean and critical conditions are expected until Friday. Officials said the blaze started as a 50-acre brush fire in foothills east of Santa Paula at around 6.30pm on Monday but due to strong winds and dry weather, fire fighters have been unable to contain it.
The area most effected is the northern California wine country; a popular tourist destination at this time of year. So what should you do if you have flights booked and travel plans in the area?
Your flight to California may be cancelled or delayed – over 80 flights to and from San Francisco International Airport have already been cancelled due to smoke. Contact your airline directly for the latest advice.
If you are due to holiday in an area affected and no longer wish to travel, get in touch with your holiday provider and/or travel insurance company. You may be able to cancel or re-book for a later date.