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SAN DIEGO -- Firefighters and evacuees battling the wildfires raging in California since last week were assisted by local 7-Eleven stores that sent daily deliveries to evacuees at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which has provided beverages and food, the company stated.
The fires have forced the largest evacuation in the state’s modern history and brought 10,000 firefighters to the area to battle the flames, The Associated Press reported. The blaze also has displaced half a million residents, destroyed 1,500 houses and 640 square miles; and caused at least $1 billion in damage in San Diego County alone, the AP stated.
Yesterday, President Bush declared the area a major disaster, as firefighters hoped the winds that were stoking the fire would die down soon, the AP reported.
7-Eleven, operator of 200 convenience stores in the San Diego area, reported that it could not make deliveries to 14 of its stores due to evacuations or highway difficulties. Despite its own challenged, though, the company is working with its suppliers, including those in the Los Angeles area, to provide products, such as pallets and cases of beverages and water, doughnuts, sandwiches and snacks, to the response efforts.
Participating suppliers include:
-- AriZona Beverage: 25 cases of product delivered to the Centers for Disease Control
-- Straub Distributing: three and a half pallets holding 50 cases each of Oxygizer water
-- Pepsi: 200 cases of Aquafina
-- Bakery: 400 doughnuts
-- Commissary: 200 sandwiches
-- Tim's Chips: two pallets holding 3,600 units
-- Prestige Sales: three pallets of Function water, two pallets of Langer's juices, one pallet of Red Bull
-- Hansens: juices and water
-- Honest Tea: 100 cases
-- Haralambos: 10 to 12 pallets of mixed product
-- 7-Up: four pallets of Deja Blue, two pallets of Fiji water
In addition, 7-Eleven stores are working 24 hours to remain open for customers, and all locations with gasoline have fuel, the company stated. The stores also have switched their counter collection canisters to raise funds for the American Red Cross or the fire relief.
Currently, 12 North County area stores have been closed and evacuated. One store in Northern Country was closed, but was expected to reopen yesterday, according to the company. Additionally, 24 franchisees and employees were evacuated from their homes, but are working to keep their stores stocked, open and serving the community. As of presstime, one franchisee had lost his home to the fire, 7-Eleven stated.