Vesuvius on fire
14 July 2017
With Italy suffering high temperatures and drought, wildfires have broken out including blazes that are ravaging the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Using images taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite on 12 July 2017, the animation combines different sensor bands to highlight the numerous separate fires around this iconic volcano and the smoke billowing over the surrounding area.
This huge plume of smoke led some to believe that Vesuvius was erupting again. The last time it erupted was back in 1944, but is most famous for the 79 AD eruption that destroyed Pompeii.
The smoke from these fires poses the biggest threat and has forced several evacuations this week. The wooded slopes of Vesuvius form part of the Vesuvio National Park, which was set up in 1995 to protect the volcano and surroundings. Much of the woodland is now destroyed.