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6 Months after the Camp Fire: Challenges with mail delivery

Action News Now spoke with a mail carrier in the Camp Fire burn scar to understand some of the challenges these carriers are facing six months after the fire.

Posted: May 9, 2019 1:34 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Action News Now spoke with a mail carrier in the Camp Fire burn scar to understand some of the challenges these carriers are facing six months after the fire.

Jason Leidholdt has been delivering mail to the people of Paradise for over 18 years. 

He said that everything is different now after the Camp Fire. 

"There are no landmarks anymore and the street signs are burned up," he said. 

Leidholdt said his first day back on the job was rough, because it is challenging to try to find certain streets and addresses. 

However, he said it's eventually something he has gotten used to. 

"Yeah it was difficult to see," he said. "Now that you do it on a daily basis you kind of become numb to it because its kind of normal now, which is kind of sad."

All of the routes have changed and there are not many familiar faces, he said. 

Some of the customers that Leidholdt was delivering mail to had been living in Paradise for many years. 

The changes have also been challenging for neighbors in the areas of the burn scar. 

"Our carriers have always been really nice," said Joan Mcwilliams, a resident of Paradise. "If we have packages they'll bring them to the door. If I'm down front they'll chat with us. But now we have a different carrier and mail comes at different times of the day, so we're adjusting."

Leidholdt said his mail truck used to be completely filled, but after the Camp Fire, he said he doesn't deliver to as many places as he used to. 

The change has been fairly drastic, with the number of houses on his route dropping from 800-900 to 100-150. 

Paradise Post Master Michael Johnson said the post office has dealt with many challenges since the fire. A lot of the challenge center around people who have been displaced from their homes as well as displaced mail carriers. 

Johnson said they lost almost half of their carriers after the Camp Fire. 

However, Leidholdt said he isn't going anywhere. 

"I'd like to stay here and just see the town grow and just help deliver mail to the people who want to build here again," he said. 

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Another disturbance will cross northern California through tomorrow. The biggest effect will be stronger wind in the valley tonight through Thursday. There are no watches or warnings for fire danger, but the wind won't help.
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