After the harshest winter in decades, the Balkans region in the south east of Europe is now facing its hottest summer and the worst drought across the area in nearly 40 years.
Wildfires are destroying forests, rivers are being reduced to a trickle, crops are wilting on the scorched farmland and electricity supplies are running low.
The record-setting average temperatures - which have been steadily rising for years because of global warming, according to scientists - have ravaged crops, vegetables, fruit, and power production in a region that already is badly hit by the global economic crisis.
This year, farmers all over the Balkans are turning to the heavens for help. "This is lost," Ljubisav Tomic, a Serbian farmer said, pointing to his corn field, yellow and dried out with cracks in the soil. "Only God can help us, only heaven can save us."
Adding to the troubles are dozens of wildfires, also fuelled by the extreme heat. Blazes have destroyed hundreds of acres of forests and bush in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. Some of the fires raging on the border between Serbia and Kosovo are beyond control because of minefields left over from the war over the former Serbian province in 1999.
Potato crops and corn farms are among the worst hit by the drought as irrigation systems in the former Yugoslavia, built under communism, remain clogged and out of date, leaving most of the farmland at nature's mercy.
The drought in the Balkans is being compared to a similar disaster now under way in the United States, with the economies such as Russia likely to profit by exporting food, wheat and other crops to the Balkan states.
Because of the drought's effect on livestock, analysts forecast a sharp increase in the retail price of meat and milk, adding to the hardship of one of Europe's poorest regions. "This year's damage from drought is 30-80%, in some areas even100 %," Tihomir Jakovina, Croatia's agriculture minister, said during a tour this week of his country's eastern farmlands.
In Serbia, the agriculture ministry said the corn and soya harvest - the country's main export items - will be halved compared to last year, triggering losses of more than one billion US dollars (£629 million). In Bosnia, the heat has destroyed almost 70% of vegetables and corn, said Sead Jelec, an official at the Association of Agriculture Producers.