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Yosemite's 'firefall' glow is a no-go: No water means no waterfall

Yosemite's annual " firefall" phenomenon likely won't appear this year, according to Yosemite National Park. The stunning glow best seen the last two weeks in February depends on the sunset's waning light striking a glistening waterfall on El Capitan's granite walls. But right now, the fall isn't running.

"When weather and conditions align, the light at sunset will reflect on the water in Horsetail Fall, causing the waterfall to light up," a park statement says. "This year, there is little to no water in Horsetail Fall, with no precipitation in the forecast over the next two weeks."

Last year, about 2,000 people came to see the phenomenon, apparently trampling sensitive riverbank areas and leaving trash and unsanitary conditions behind. Though the firefall may be a no-show, the park is imposing restrictions on roads that lead to viewing areas starting at noon Thursday.

Here are some of the rules drivers and hikers in Yosemite Valley need to know:

Northside Drive will close one lane to allow pedestrian access; no stopping, parking or unloading on the road; Southside Drive and the El Capitan Crossover will be closed to pedestrians; no stopping, parking or unloading; andThe area between Cathedral Beach Picnic Area and Sentinel Beach Picnic Area and along the Merced River will be closed to drivers and pedestrians.The restrictions will remain in effect daily from noon to 7 p.m. through Feb. 27.

Yosemite urges firefall visitors to park at Yosemite Falls and walk 1.5 miles to the viewing area near El Capitan Picnic Area. Only vehicles with a disability placard will be allowed to park in the picnic area.

Info: Yosemite National Park

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