Deadly and destructive wildfires in northern California continue to grow thanks in part to so-called “Diablo Winds” and the horrific scope of the blazes is quickly driven home by images taken from above.
Footage by aerial cinematographer Douglas Thron shot on October 10 shows neighborhoods in Santa Rosa that burned to the ground, including a Hilton hotel and some of the area’s renowned vineyards:
As of Wednesday evening, the death toll across northern California, including Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, reached 24 people. Additionally, hundreds of missing persons reports have been filed and thousands of structures have burned.
Entire cities are being evacuated in the region, and a look at images from NASA’s Terra satellite make it easier to see why. The below shot from Tuesday shows smoke spreading out from the fires, which have also led to air quality advisories for the nearby San Francisco Bay area.
A high resolution image taken Monday by the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite shows plumes of smoke that have since spread in more life-like detail:
As if the above images aren’t heartbreaking enough, Thron also used a drone to shoot this poignant, tragic footage of a United States Postal Service worker delivering mail to mailboxes in front of burnt-out foundations. It looks straight out of a post-apocalyptic film, but unfortunately it’s not. Check out this comprehensive list of ways to help fire victims from the Sacramento Bee.