Though drones have been banned from flying over Santa Rosa's Coffey Park for the past week or so, CBS 5 managed to get some authorized flight time in and captured some haunting footage of the devastated neighborhood. Above, you can see that there's hardly anything left standing, and the footage they captured matches some of the other satellite photos published by the New York Times.
Private citizens are still being asked to refrain from flying drones over the area. SFGate spotted a Facebook post from the Santa Rosa CHP about drones, which read: "Cal Fire is reporting drones in the Petaluma area. FIRE FIGHTING PLANES CANNOT FLY IF YOUR DRONE IS IN THE AIR! Land them if you want these fires out!" They later updated the post to say that their drone operator was arrested in Petaluma, ostensibly for flying a drone over the area. As many people have pointed out, Cal Fire's air support is unable to operate if there are drones flying over an area, as they pose a collision risk for the large aircraft trying to extinguish flames from above. According to CBS 5's report above, those planes have become integral to fighting back fires that have crept up the more steep hills in the countryside, which are areas that are too dangerous for individual firefighters. SFGate also shared an app created by the FAA which shows you current drone no-fly zones.
In addition to sharing that drone footage, CBS 5 reports on some alleged looters who apparently tried to steal some of the things left behind in the ruined neighborhood, including a gun safe. People who have stayed behind have established neighborhood patrols, keeping some looters at bay. One of the neighbors, Chuck Frampton, told CBS 5, "Don’t do it. Let people go through their stuff. Let people have their things, what they’ve got left."
KRON 4 also discovered some 360-degree camera footage on Facebook as captured by Gabe Slate, who was on the scene. One of the videos looks like it was taken from the top of a car as it drove through what remains of Coffey Park.
The Associated Press' report on Coffey Park has taken to calling the neighborhood "ground zero" for the devastation that's become emblematic of the entire batch of wildfires spreading across Northern California. They also shared the story of one survivor who managed to get some firefighters to protect his house by spraying it down with water when he realized his garden hose wasn't going to cut it. That neighbor, Wayne Sims, told the AP: "I said: 'You guys gotta come over here. That one's gone. You can save my house. Come and save my house. I was begging them. And they did. They came down here."
Other than "ground zero," reporters, writers, and survivors have described Coffey Park as "a warzone," or, in the case of one of the survivors interviewed by NBC Bay Area, the area "looks like a nuclear explosion."