You’ve probably seen the photos (it would be insensitive to say they’re spreading like wildfire on social media). Beacon Rock Golf Course, North Bonneville, Washington: Golfers on the course. Biblical blaze in the distance.

-990106fe4ae8b67eFirst of all, is teeing it up in this situation anything resembling a good idea? Beyond the obvious possibility of being encircled by a wildfire, which you assume the golfers have allowed for, aren’t their air quality issues to be concerned about?

John Patrick Pullen of Fortune spoke with Kristi McCluer, the woman behind the lens. McCluer was skydiving in the area before the abundance of smoke grounded her.


McCluer decided to try to get some shots of the fire, after finding several route blocked off, she turned around to head home. It was on her trek back the pulled into the parking lot of Beacon Golf Course.

“And I got out and I started taking pictures,” McCluer says. “I thought, ‘This is a good spot, nobody else is around, it wasn’t crowded, there were only two or three other cars and some people golfing.'”

“The golfers and I were not actually in any danger,” McCluer told Pullen. “When I was done taking pictures, I walked over to them and we talked about how crazy and surreal and horrifying this event is.”

Not actually in any danger? If you say so. We’ll trust the inferno’s proximity is some sort of an optical illusion and that it was moving in the opposite direction. Incredible, surreal photos nevertheless.


On a serious note, here’s hoping the Eagle Creek fire is contained as quickly as possible.

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