Al Gore visited fire-scorched Florida with the promise of more federal aid and attention, but the vice president can't bring what residents here need most - rain.

Despite the donation of high-tech equipment and dozens of firefighters from neighboring states, Floridians remain mostly at the mercy of nature."The only thing nobody's been able to provide is rain," said Sen. Connie Mack, who toured the hardest-hit area in Volusia County on Sunday with Sen. Bob Graham. "This is an epic battle to have as many fires as you have had without losing a home," Gore told county firefighters Monday. "This is a great testament to you all."

Scattered thunderstorms were forecast, but officials said it wouldn't be enough to douse flames. During the past five weeks, fires have burned 237,000 acres - mostly forest and scrubby swamp land - from one tip of Florida to the other. They have destroyed 78 houses and threatened several subdivisions, but no one has died.