CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University Physics Adventure Team got a front row seat to a wildfire from the summit of South Sister.
John Elliott and Mo Brethower got shots of the smoke plume from the Pole Creek fire from the summit of South Sister and from the mountain's flanks as the plume billowed up over the Cascades.
They were part of a group of six who hiked into Moraine Lake on Saturday to camp, then climbed South Sister on Sunday. They were on the summit around 2 p.m.
First reported Sunday, the fire had burned almost 7 square miles by Wednesday as smoke from the fire reached the Willamette Valley.
The fire destroyed four cars and damaged several others parked at the Pole Creek trailhead. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office helped at least 35 people recreating in the area get out as the fire spread.
Hundreds of people are fighting the fire, which is only 5 percent contained.
The blaze may burn until fall rains come and put it out.