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       CNN - Breaking News, Latest News and Videos
       CNN | 4/12/2021 | Listen
       'Firefall' 2021 lights up in orange glory -- and Yosemite has
       extended the viewing
       By Forrest Brown, CNN. Top photo: ShutterstockUpdated: Thu, 25 Feb 2021
       19:43:18 GMTSource: CNN
       
       For all the world, it looks like dangerous hot lava streaming down the
       side of a cliff. But no, that's not volcanic activity in Yosemite
       National Park in California.
       
       It's water -- a benign and beautiful waterfall experience known as
       "firefall." 
       
       Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the dramatically growing
       popularity of firefall, the National Park Service was concerned about
       crowding around viewing points this year. So it set up travel
       restrictions and an online reservations system that you need if you
       want to drive into the popular park.
       
       Originally, the firefall "season" was due to end on
       Wednesday, but because of the high interest, the park has extended the
       viewing arrangement until Sunday, February 28. Viewing hours are daily
       from noon to 7 p.m.
       
       So how does 'firefall' happen?
       
       
       
       
       
       Firefall occurs at Horsetail Fall, which flows over the eastern edge of
       El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, according to the National Park Service.
       
       It's a small waterfall, and it normally flows only during winter.
       The Park Service said it's actually easy to miss. 
       
       But on some days during mid- to late February, it might glow an
       enchanting and magical orange when it's backlit by sunset. That
       gives it that lavalike look.
       
       
       
       The Park Service says the dazzling effect happens only on evenings with
       a clear sky when the waterfall is flowing. Even some haze or a bit of
       cloudiness can ruin the effect. Mother Nature provides no guarantees. 
       
       Firefall is naturally a high-interest topic on Twitter and other social
       media. Even the US Department of the Interior has gotten in on the
       excitement posting about it.
       
       
       
       Keeping things pristine
       
       It's about a 1.5-mile walk each way from the closest parking to
       the viewpoint near the El Capitan picnic area. 
       
       The park is very serious about crowd control and parking in the
       ecologically sensitive area, which has been trampled and trashed in the
       past. The website posts explicit instructions on parking and warns
       violators could be towed.
       
       
       
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