A man in California has been captured on video pulling over on a busy highway to rescue a wild rabbit from the wildfires that have engulfed large parts of California. The unidentified driver risked his life as he tried to coax the animal to safety with flames licking at his feet.

Onlookers filmed the man as he nervously looked into the fire, bouncing on his heels and putting his hands on his head.

"What is he doing?" one of the people filming the scene asks. "He's saving an animal!" another replies as the man is seen grabbing hold of the rabbit and walking back down the road.

The witnesses told ABC News that the man refused their request for an on-camera interview after his act of heroism.

A number of fires have raged across Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties and have been made worse by powerful winds in the area aiding their spread. Schools have been closed and there have been huge power outages and major traffic disruptions.

The winds are expected to intensify, according to the National Weather Service of Los Angeles. Overnight, mandatory evacuations were announced for areas of the cities of Santa Paula and Ventura and the Upper Ojai Valley.

A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday (6 December) by Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

Thousands of homes are in danger and many have already been damaged by the blaze, which burned at least 150 acres in the affluent Bel Air region.

A number of videos showing the hellish landscapes created by the fires have gone viral.

The smoke generated by the fires can even be seen from space. Four photographs taken from the International Space Station were shared on Twitter.