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Monday, 28 September 2015

The Devastation of Monte Vico Alvano

As I was on my way to Naples airport very early in the  morning some 10 days ago, I could see the flames lighting up the slopes of Monte Vico Alvano and my heart sank.
One of my favourite hikes is along the trail that loops up the mount and over to the Sella di Arola, and now it was burning , the  flames bright in the dark sky.
As you will have seen from my previous blogs, fires have been a scourge this summer. From all accounts, this one was caused not by the actions of some sick arsonist, but by a car catching fire on the Amalfi Coast road and the flames, fanned by the wind, rapidly spreading up the hill behind Tordigliano and over the top to the saddle and Monte Vico Alvano. Whilst there is no doubt as to how it started, there remains some doubt as to how it could have spread the way it did.
Giovanni Visetti went to inspect the damage on Saturday and whilst the path (part of the CAI300 Alta Via dei Monti Lattari), is clear and intact, the devastation  is vast, stretching along both sides of the path for over 3 kilometres with ash covering everything.  The only "happy" note is that  the fire was seemingly so rapid that the shrubs were badly scorched but not destroyed, so hopefully these will recover in a fairly short period of time.
Whilst Monte Vico Alvano was burning, other fires at various points along the Amalfi Coast  caused the road to be closed for hours and hours over one of the busiest weekends of the season. At one stage there was literally no way in or out.
Fortunately the situation has now improved, but genuine fear is that once it starts to rain,  rocks will start falling no longer having enough vegetation to hold them back.
Photos of the damage courtesy of Giovanni, photos pre- fire, mine.
More photos can be seen in  Giovanni Visetti's album.











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