So it turns out these photographs of people playing golf with a fire burning in the background is totally real.
We resisted the urge to quickly post this photo when it crossed our desk last week. There is no way this photo could be real, it had to be photoshopped. Right? Well it turns out the photos weren’t photoshopped at all and they are very much real.
This photo, along with several others shown below were snapped by amateur photographer Kristi McCluer who lives near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.
Fortune’s John Patrick Pullen chatted to McCluer who went out to capture images of the forest fire and explained how she ended up on Beacon Golf Rock Course that sits across the Columbia River from where the forest fire was burning.
McCluer’s plan was to drive to the Bridge of the Gods, the span closest to the fire that connects Washington and Oregon, and capture images of the burning forest.
But the bridge was closed to traffic, and nearby McCluer saw what she thought was a huge parking lot, full of people watching the blaze. Only it wasn’t a parking lot—it was a road, and the Washington State Police ordered her to stop taking pictures, get in her car, and go find a safe place.
While trying to turn around and head back west, McCluer ended up in the parking lot of the Beacon Golf Course in North Bonneville, Wash., where a few golfers were still on the 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 photo turns out to be a little deceptive as the golf course is in the state of Washington. Between the golf course and the forest fire in Oregon was the Columbia River.
“The golfers and I were not actually in any danger,” says McCluer. “When I was done taking pictures, I walked over to them and we talked about how crazy and surreal and horrifying this event is, but I didn’t get their names or have any real interaction with them. It was just a few words exchanged.”