Volcano of Fire spews lava and ash.

Guatemala's Volcano of Fire erupted on Tuesday, sending rivers of lava down its slopes and a huge cloud of ash and smoke into the sky.

About 25,000 local residents were put on alert. Emergency teams said there was no immediate need for evacuations but they might be necessary if there were more eruptions.

Experts said two rivers of lava, both about 1.5 miles (2 km) long, were flowing down the volcano's slopes, although they posed no threat to villagers in the area. A column of ash rose 1.5 miles and ash fell on areas south of the capital.

The volcano stands 40 miles southwest of Guatemala's capital and its peak is about 12,000 feet (3,700 metres) above sea level. It is one of the most active of Guatemala's 33 volcanoes.