BUT let me tell you this, especially if you have a campfire, every animal for 5 miles down wind will come to the proximity of your camp....
When that fire burns down they aren't frightened of the flames any more and you may unwittingly attracted all of the animals that you wished to repel with the fire.
There are a lot of reasons why I will light a campfire, but repelling critters has never been one of them. I think you may be seeing what's always been there, fire or not.
When you set up camp in the forest there are already critters there that only come out at night. I'd imagine they'd be cautious just because they're not familiar with you being there, but I don't know about attracted to the fire. For sure I know that they are coming out to forage or hunt for food. They're hungry.
If you just sit quiet and still in a forest in the daytime for 20-30 minutes you'll see all kinds of critters you never see while hiking. But make a sound, or move, and they all scatter.
Mountain Lions, and most all cats, love to play in the dark. I can see where you equal out their night vision advantage some with NVG, but again, that only proves you can see them better at night when you have NVG, but not at all that they aren't nearby watching you in the day, or at night when you don't have a campfire.
Just for grins, I'll set up a game camera in the forest behind our house and try to get some photos of the critters rustling around out there in the darkness for a few nights. Then I'll go light a fire and see if I get any more photos, or photos of critters not previously captured by the camera.
I have heard from several sources now that we have a mountain lion that lives around here. Maybe I'll get a pic of him