A small plane crashed and burst into flames Sunday killing one person and igniting a fire, forcing residents of a California mountain community to flee from at least 100 homes.

The fire reportedly started after the single-engine Cessna 210 went down near Tehachapi south of Bakersfield, with one house burning to the ground after, according to Kern County fire department spokesman Cary Wright who added that the fire in Blackburn Canyon was "growing by the minute."

While one death was confirmed, authorities pointed out they could not confirm how many people were on the plane.

The blaze grew to 3,500 acres - nearly 5 1/2 square miles - amid dry, hot and windy conditions and more than 400 fire-fighters using 11 air tankers were deployed to contain the blaze, which was burning out of control, the Associated Press reported.

Following the incident and the fire, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for 100 homes which were deemed under threat in Blackburn Canyon and the Mountain Meadows area.

While no injuries from the fire have yet been reported, the Red Cross has set up an evacuation centre at Jacobsen Junior High School in Tehachapi.