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Home / Travel / Yosemite’s Famous ‘Firefall’ Has Run Dry Because of the California Drought (Video)

Yosemite’s Famous ‘Firefall’ Has Run Dry Because of the California Drought (Video)

And there’s no rain in the forecast.

Alix Langone
February 12, 2018

Yosemite’s famous “firefall” likely won’t be happening this year because the waterfall has run dry.

The naturally occurring phenomenon usually appears every February when the water flowing down Horsetail Fall reflects the sunset, casting an orange glow that looks like fire as it cascades down the eastern face of El Capitan.

Park officials say the waterfall is dry and there’s no precipitation in the upcoming forecast, either.

“It’s not nearly where we’d like to be,” said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, told local TV station KTVU.

Snowpack at Yosemite was just 44% of normal levels on Feb. 1 and much of California is still in a drought, KTVU reported.

In recent years, the park started giving out permits to the view the “firefall” as it grew in popularity, according to the National Parks website. Spectators can view the phenomenon without a permit (when water is flowing) by hiking into the viewing areas on foot.

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