Incredible photos of the 'firefall' at Yosemite National Park

The phenomenon occurs each spring 

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The Independent US

Scores of photographers have been drawn to Yosemite National Park to see a 'firefall'.

The phenomenon appears to be a cascade of lava falling from east of the the El Capitan rock formation.

However, it is actually an optical illusion caused by the light of setting sun falling on Horsetail Fall waterfall.  

It typically happens for a few weeks in February each year, though can occur at other times.  

The firefall is dependent on favourable conditions, such as sparse cloud cover and a flowing waterfall.

Social media users have been sharing their photos of the event.


A photo posted by Jeff (@jeffreyplui) on


A photo posted by Shashank (@shank0205) on


A photo posted by PRESHUS GOSHAY (@preshusamber) on


A photo posted by Kaitlyn Yee (@kaitlynniicole) on


Many photographers spent a long time preparing for the event:


In position!! C'mon light!! #horsetailfall #yosemite

A photo posted by Will (@wcmaherphotography) on


This is what it looks like the rest of the time:


A photo posted by NPCA (@npcapics) on


The firefall is named after a made-made fire fall which used to take place in Yosemite. The owners of Glacier Point Hotel, at Glacier Point, used to spill hot embers down the mountainside to create a viewing spectacle.  However, the practice was discontinued in 1968.