The setting sun creates a “fiery waterfall” in Yosemite, making the waterfall look like flowing lava: “It’s magical”

A spectacular “fiery waterfall” wowed nature watchers in California’s Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, when the setting sun lit up the falls like a ribbon of fire.

For several weeks each year, the last rays of daylight fall on Horsetail Falls, setting the water on fire like a river of lava flowing down a mountainside.

The phenomenon, which lasts only a few minutes at sunset and attracts tourists from all over the country, is based on a rare combination of ideal conditions.

“When the sun hits exactly at the right angle, it reflects on El Capitan,” Yosemite National Park public relations officer Scott Gediman told Agence France-Presse.

“It is a combination of the sun reflected in the water, the clear sky and the flowing water. When it all comes together, it’s magic.”

California, like much of the western United States, is in the grip of a years-long drought that has severely depleted its rivers.

But the torrential downpours that began this year, which caused fatal floods in some places, have put the state in a much better state, and the watercourses are flowing.

California’s signature blue sky appeared on Wednesday, meaning visitors to Yosemite who were in the right place at the right time got a chance to see the fiery waterfall.

“The pictures I’ve seen are amazing,” said amateur photographer Terry Cantrell, who traveled from Fresno. “Everyone wants to have something of their own, that’s what I’m trying to do.”

The long wait and freezing temperatures were worth it for San Francisco-based photographer Whitney Clark.

“Based on how the sun sets on a mountain or rock, it creates a really nice fire effect for photographers and you can get a beautiful photo,” she said.

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