U.S. President George W. Bush declared a state of emergency Saturday in California, as the coastal state was grappling with more than 1,000 wildfires.

Bush said the federal government will send more aid to California in an effort to bring the raging fires under control.

According to Cheri Patterson, a spokeswoman for the state's fire department, more than 12,000 firefighters have been battling the fires in northern California for more than a week now and the firefighting force has been stretched too thin by the sheer number of blazes.

She said the situation would become even grimmer as more dry thunderstorms, lightning from which sparked many of the wildfires in California, are expected this weekend.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday in a letter to President Bush that the fires have already burned 265,000 acres (107,325 hectares) of land since they erupted on June 20.

He appealed to Bush to make a federal emergency declaration and help Californians cope with the unprecedented wildfires.

According to state officials, these wildfires have resulted in serious injuries to emergency personnel and others. More than 284 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and numerous businesses and public landmarks are being destroyed or damaged.

In addition, several thousand people have been evacuated from their homes.