Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, as the old motto goes, can stop the U.S. Postal Service. Nor can a blazing inferno, apparently. Drone footage caught a lone USPS truck winding its way through a torched Santa Rosa neighborhood, all while scooting past wrecked remains of SUVs, mini-vans, flattened houses, and blackened trees. Smoke still hovers over the burnt earth from the wildfires that have been wrecking Northern California. The only living thing in view is one dutiful postal worker, who stopped wherever there was a mailbox still standing.
Most of the houses and cars captured in the footage are nothing more than rubble. In fact, it was as if a tornado passed through. The surreal scene was captured by aerial cinematographer Douglas Thron, who told SFGATE, “It looked like a bomb went off, or someone flew over and bombed the whole area. It looked like a war zone. [The fires] burned everything down to the ground.”
Thron aimed to capture the sheer devastation of the Tubbs fire, which has scorched 34,000 acres and is still only 10% contained. The professional videographer didn’t expect to encounter a lone, determined postal worker making his rounds. “I did a double take,” Thron says. “I watched him go to a half-dozen mailboxes … It was like I was seeing something he wasn’t seeing.”
The Tubbs blaze has killed at least 11 of the 13 reported dead in Sonoma County, and at least 285 people were still missing as of Thursday morning. “This isn’t just a little wildfire burning through the brush; its a horrendous fire,” said Thron. “It’s still hard to comprehend the magnitude of these fires. It leaves me speechless.”