Yosemite park ranger says they’ve seen ‘little to no water’ ahead of Firefall phenomenon

Local News

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – When the sunlight hits at just the right angle on the side of Yosemite’s El Capitan, it creates this natural phenomenon known as the Firefall.

It makes it look almost as if lava were falling through the crevice known as Horsetail Fall, and it happens for just two weeks in February at sunset.

“When there’s water that cascades over Horsetail Fall, the water in the waterfall will light up and look like it’s glowing,” Yosemite National Park ranger Jamie Richards said.

However, this year, visitors may not be able to witness the full phenomenon.

“We’ve seen little to no water in the last couple of days,” Richards said.

She said conditions can vary every year, affecting the amount of water the waterfall gets.

“Some years there’s a lot of water, some years there’s not a lot of water.”

However, the event attracts visitors every year no matter the amount of water.

Curt Tipton is a photographer who has visited Yosemite for this spectacle six times. He said there isn’t always water.

“Not always, maybe every second or third time I’ve come here there’s been water,” Tipton said.

But he said it’s still worth coming to.

“Oh yeah, there’s a heart, if you look very carefully, you can see an angel in there, it’s spectacular even without the water,” he said.

There wasn’t any water on Wednesday, and that may not change.

“We do not see any precipitation in the forecast over the next 10 days so we may not have a lot of water,” she said.

However, people can still expect to see the light shining on the side of El Capitan. It’s expected to happen Feb. 13 through Feb. 27.

“Some have been coming for years, some are learning about this phenomenon and will be coming for the first time,” Richards said.

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