The summer of 2000 will shape up to be the worst for forest and brush fires worldwide since data began to be recorded. Already in the US, it is the worst since 1988. As hundreds of fires remained out of control across the west and more are erupting every day, the US is attempting to support exhausted firefighters with Marines. The 3rd Battalion 16th Field Artillery from Ft. Hood, Texas, will arrive in Boise today and be transported to the a nearby fire area. A second battalion has been ordered from the Marines at Camp Pendleton, California. Their training will begin on Friday, August 4. Dry lightning–from thunderstorms that do not drop rain–is blamed for most of the fires. For the latest government situation report: hundreds of forest fires erupted across the parched region. In Bulgaria, authorities called out the army Friday to battle 69 fires raging across the country. In Greece, more than 300 firefighters battled six blazes around the country as temperatures soared to 104 degrees. July temperatures for much of the Balkans normally swing from about 85 degrees to 95 degrees.

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