Photos showing Washington golfers finishing up a round while a hillside behind them burns aren’t faked, according to the owners of a golf course where the pictures were taken and a golfer who was is pictured on the putting green.

“They were coming down the last fairway” on Monday evening around 7 p.m. when the viral picture was taken, Tamara Mayfield, one of the owners of Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, said over the phone Wednesday afternoon.

The fire is the Eagle Creek fire, which merged with Indian Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge this week and and is now burning an estimated 30,929 acres.

On Monday, Mayfield said, people were taking their time, and taking a lot of pictures.

She and the other owner, her husband, Mark Mayfield, were there with about 100 people who were golfing and watching the fire spread on the other side of the Columbia River.

Even though the images make it look like the fire was bearing down on the golfers, Mayfield said, in reality it was about a mile away, on the Oregon side of the river.

Brandon Crawford of Washougal was one of those golfers. Crawford said Wednesday he is the man putting in the most viral picture, which now has 53,000 upvotes on Reddit.

“They were definitely not faked,” Crawford said over the phone.

“When we first started there was a fire maybe the size of a grocery store,” he said. “By the end of hole two, it was just crazy. The big one you’re seeing on the internet was on hole nine.”

Though the fire was across the river, Crawford said ash the size the soccer balls was falling around them. He and his friends would golf and then stare at the fire, and then golf some more.

Crawford said a lot of people were taking pictures but he wasn’t aware he was in one until a friend told him he’d been spotted on Reddit on Tuesday night.

The question now is: Who took the pictures that are going viral on Reddit? Reddit user Kolsefur who posted them said he got them from a friend’s Facebook page. But he hasn’t responded to a request for comment and after that, the trail turns cold.

The Mayfields and Crawford all said many people were out taking pictures on Monday. Did you take the picture going viral on Reddit? Email us at trending@oregonian.com.

— Lizzy Acker
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