Drone Video: USPS Delivers Mail in Burned-Out Neighborhood

A surreal video showing a USPS postal worker delivering mail shows the magnitude of devastation brought on by the spate of Northern California fires. Douglas Thron

A surreal video of a postal worker delivering mail to a neighborhood obliterated by the deadly Northern California wildfires has gone viral on social media, with some commenters remarking that it looks like something out of a dystopian film.

The video, captured by drone photographer Douglas Thron, was first posted by NBC networks on Tuesday. It shows a mail carrier driving around the fire-ravaged Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa, where residents described seeing a “wall of fire” rushing toward their homes as they scrambled to evacuate.

A video showing a USPS worker delivering mail to a neighborhood obliterated by the North Bay fires has gone viral on social media since it was first broadcast Tuesday on the "Today Show."

(Published Friday, Oct. 13, 2017)

The homes in the subdivision were leveled to smoldering ash and debris, yet the video shows a mail carrier driving up to several lots and placing mail in what is left of the mailboxes.

Charity Ruiz, who is nine months pregnant, remembers fleeing from the neighborhood with her two children. Her Coffey Park home perished in the blaze.

"It seemed like the fire was jumping towards us," she said. "It happened so quickly." 

Seeing the pictures and videos of her former neighborhood, she said, was shocking.

"I just can't believe it. It looks like something out of a movie."

A local U.S. Postal Service district manager told news outlets that the postal worker was honoring requests from homeowners who planned to return to the area to collect any salvageable personal items.

"This is an example of the long-standing relationship that has been established between our carriers and their customers based on trust," Noemi Luna told The Mercury News. “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."

Watch the video above. Find ways to help with fire relief here.

Deadly wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties sent residents fleeing for their lives and reduced dozens of homes to smoldering ash. At least 1,500 structures have been torched, and fire officials say that estimate is conservative.

(Published Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017)