Yosemite's "firefall": Water that is fiery-red and resembles lava

Yosemite National Park's "Firefall" phenomenon causes the water cascading from Horsetail Fall to glow orange when ...

Yosemite National Park in California is treating visitors to a fiery red waterfall as a result of an annual optical illusion.

A phenomenon known as a "firefall" occurs every February where the setting sun illuminates Horsetail Falls for a few weeks.

When the circumstances are ideal, the waterfall appears to be lava spewing thousands of feet from a tall cliff.

Even though the show only lasts for a few minutes each day, it draws hundreds of people to the park each year.

According to the National Park Service, haze or even a light cloud cover can reduce or even completely eliminate the effect. However, "it's magical" when the sun sets at the precise right angle, according to spokesman Scott Gediman to AFP.

The drought that has plagued California and much of the western US for years threatens the appearance of the firefall.

However, the state's watercourses have been boosted by the heavy rains and severe flooding that wreaked havoc on much of the west earlier this year, making this year's firefall picture-perfect.

The freezing temperatures on Wednesday did not deter park visitors from sitting, kneeling, or standing atop sheets of ice while holding cameras.

Terry Cantrell, an amateur photographer, told CBS News, a partner of the BBC in the US, "The pictures I've seen are just gorgeous.". "Since everyone wants their own, this is what I'm attempting to do. ".

Even when the conditions are ideal, however, not everyone is able to see the firefall. To preserve the environment, the National Park Service uses reservations to impose a cap on visitors.

Water flowing off Horsetail Fall glows orange while backlit from the setting sun during the andquot;Firefall" phenomenon in Yosemite National Park
The effect can be lessened or even eliminated by haze or even a light cloud cover.
Photographers ready their tripods and cameras to capture the orange glow from water flowing off Horsetail Fall
This week, Yosemite National Park visitors gather to view the 'firefall' at Horsetail Falls.

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