Rob Lowe assisted firefighters by hosing down the area near his Santa Barbara home over the weekend as raging wildfires threatened to destroy it.

The 'West Wing' actor donned a full protective suit to help with the operation early on Sunday morning (17.12.17) in California.

Alongside a picture of his house with the blaze in the background, Rob wrote: ''Our house aprox 7:30 am today. Pray for Santa Barbara. (sic)''

And the 53-year-old star captioned a photo in his firefighter attire: ''Helping earlier today. You do what you can, but when it's time.. you GO. (sic)''

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey, 63, who also lives nearby, took to Twitter to share her prayers and thoughts with the ''little town''.

She wrote on Twitter: ''Still praying for our little town. Winds picked up this morning creating a perfect storm of bad for firefighters. #peacebestill (sic)''

The Thomas Fire has scorched more than 200,000 acres in the Santa Barbara area and more than 88,000 people have had to evacuate, with 85,000 without power.

Around 4,000 firefighters have been deployed to deal with the inferno.

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency as wildfires ripped through California.

He said previously: ''These fires are unprecedented. We've never seen anything like it. Scientists are telling us, 'This is the kind of stuff that's gonna happen.' And we gotta deal with it.''

It comes after Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi had to evacuate their pets from their home.

The 59-year-old comedienne revealed the couple had removed their animals from their $18.6 million beachfront Santa Barbara house after the blaze neared their plush pad.

Ellen wrote on Twitter: ''Our house is under threat of being burned. We just had to evacuate our pets. I'm praying for everyone in our community and thankful to all the incredible firefighters. (sic)''

But the 'Ellen Show' presenter admitted she was ''proud'' to be part of the community after seeing everyone come together at such a scary time, and she praised the firefighters for their efforts.

She tweeted: ''Everyone in the Montecito area is checking up on each other and helping to get people and animals to safety. I'm proud to be a part of this community. I'm sending lots of love and gratitude to the fire department and sheriffs. Thank you all. #ThomasFire (sic)''