Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday ordered 2,000 more National Guard troops to join the 400 already on firefighting duty. Australia, Canada, Greece, Mexico and New Zealand are also sending firefighters and equipment, federal officials said.
"We are stretched thin, and our firefighters are exhausted," Schwarzenegger said. "The fire season as we've known it is pretty much over. ... Now we have fire season all year round."
Federal officials said they would send more equipment and personnel to California. The federal government has committed $100 million and 80 percent of its firefighting resources to California, said Glen Cannon, an assistant administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"We've put a significant amount of resources there, and we'll continue to add resources until we bring the fires under control," Cannon said.
Meanwhile, President Bush scheduled a visit to survey the damage from the wildfires that have burned more than 1,100 square miles and destroyed about 100 homes.
White House spokesman Trey Bohn did not say where Bush would go to get his briefing on Thursday, when the president also plans to attend a private Republican fundraising event in Napa.
Investigators believe the hundreds of blazes that have tormented the state for the last three weeks claimed their first civilian casualty in the rural Sierra Nevada foothills this week, although an autopsy will be needed to confirm the cause of death.
The badly burned body was found in the smoldering ruins of one of several homes destroyed by the wind-whipped blaze that swept through Concow, about 90 miles north of Sacramento.
The fire was so hot that it melted beer bottles, mason jars and windows into puddles of glass. Cans of food had swelled then exploded from the heat. Crews also found the remains of at least two dogs.
Concow, where 50 homes were destroyed, was under a mandatory evacuation order when flames approached the community early Tuesday, "but unfortunately not everyone chose to leave and you cannot force them to," said Sgt. Steven Pelton, a Butte County deputy coroner-sheriff. "This appears to be one of those people."
Tom Tirey, 49, who has lived in the area for 10 years, said he rode out the fire despite orders to evacuate, spending more than two hours in a hog-trough while the blaze flared around him. He survived, but his trailer and barn didn't.
"We'd been through so many evacuations and false warnings. You cry wolf too many times. This time it really did it," he said.
State officials said the current fire season has seen the most fires burning at one time in recorded California history. Aided by unusually dry and hot conditions, wildfires have burned more than 1,100 square miles and destroyed about 100 homes statewide since a lightning storm ignited 1,460 separate blazes on June 21. By Friday, more than 320 fires still were active, state officials said.