SANTA ROSA, Calif. – A drone captured an otherworldly sight in Santa Rosa, California – a U.S. Postal Services worker dutifully delivering mail to addresses where only charred foundations remain after a fast-moving fire ripped through the neighborhood.
According to The Mercury News, aerial photographer Douglas Thron was shooting video of Coffey Park, a neighborhood devastated by the recent fires, when he noticed the clean, white USPS truck.
“It was a trippy thing – he was actually delivering the mail,” Thron told the paper. “I was shocked to see him because most of the roads were blocked off, but he obviously had access.”
The USPS district manager explained to The Mercury News the presence of the carrier in the burned out neighborhood: “A few customers asked the carrier to leave their mail if the mailbox was still standing because they could not get to the annex to retrieve it.”
Thron, who was reportedly shooting for NBC’s “Today” show and has covered other natural disasters, said he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, considering the extent of the damage.
“I did a double take,” Thron told SFGATE. “I watched him go to a half dozen mailboxes … It was like I was seeing something he wasn’t seeing.”
Firefighters battling the deadly blazes in Northern California faced a daunting challenge Wednesday: Winds picked back up, threatening to spread wildfires that already have killed 21 people, destroyed hundreds of buildings and forced thousands of evacuations.
Most of the fires were ignited Sunday, driven by winds of up to 79 mph and dry conditions. The winds died down early this week, but gusts of 20 to 40 mph were seen Wednesday, the humidity was extremely low, and no rain is forecast for the next few days.
CNN contributed to this report.