Video can be seen above.
11 News anchor Don Ward and chief photojournalist Mike Petkash were given the opportunity to take an exclusive look at the Black Forest Fire burn area.
Sobering images show how the fire moved at random, completely destroying some areas while leaving others completely untouched.
Also visible from the air: evidence of battles firefighters waged and won as they worked to protect homes.
The pilot has flown this area more than once over the past week and gave his perspective.
"It's easy to see from here just how hard this was to fight," Eli said. "The trees were so dense and you can see there are very limited water sources from here; the helicopters and the aircraft have to go a long distance to fill up with water to come back and drop it."