The King Fire, a massive forest blaze that has consumed dozens of buildings in northern California, continues to spread more than a week after it started. A man charged with starting the fire, Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, has pleaded not guilty to arson and remains in El Dorado County jail on $10m bail.

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A firefighter lights a backfire to prevent the King Fire from spreading in Fresh PondNoah Berger/Reuters

The gigantic fire now covers more than 87,500 acres (136 sq miles), making it larger than cities such as Atlanta, Las Vegas or Philadelphia.

Nearly 5,000 firefighters — from as far as Florida and Alaska — are helping California crews battle the blaze that has destroyed swathes of extremely dry tall timber.

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A firefighter battling the King Fire sprays water as she starts a backfire in Fresh PondNoah Berger/Reuters
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The King Fire rages through the forest near Fresh Pond, CaliforniaNoah Berger/Reuters
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A trail of molten metal from a burned-out car is seen near Pollock PinesJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Brian Brennan of the Idaho City Hotshots forest fire crew watches the King Fire burn near Fresh PondNoah Berger/Reuters
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A firefighter battling the King Fire watches a backfire burn along Highway 50 in Fresh Pond, CaliforniaNoah Berger/Reuters
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Firefighters take pictures with their mobile phones as they monitor a backfire in Fresh PondJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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A firefighter monitors a backfire as he battles the King Fire in Fresh PondJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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A firefighter uses a drip torch to start a backfire in Fresh PondJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

The blaze began on 13 September to the east of Sacramento, raining ash on nearby towns and closing local schools.

California has seen an upturn in wildfires this year, with the record drought leaving bone dry brush and grass.

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A resident gives the thumbs-up to firefighting helicopter as it collects water from a reservoir to fight the King FireJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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A helicopter draws water from a reservoir while battling the King Fire in Pollock PinesNoah Berger/Reuters
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A firefighting helicopter flies past huge smoke cloudsJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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An air tanker drops fire retardant on a hillside in Pollock PinesJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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A DC-10 air tanker drops fire retardant on a hillside in the path of the King FireJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, has pleaded not guilty to arson and remains in the El Dorado County jail on $10m bailReuters