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McD offers free meals to fire rescue personnel

SAN DIEGO McDonald’s said its restaurants in Southern California are providing free Extra Value Meals until Nov. 1 to emergency personnel contending with the area’s wildfires.

The offer extends to firefighters, paramedics, National Guard troops and police officers, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain said, adding that identification would be required. It noted that 10,000 meals had already been provided since Sunday, when the fires erupted.

The units also are providing free Wi-Fi internet access to all patrons.

“We’re all members of this community and know personally the difficulties people are going through,” said Philip Palumbo, a franchisee based here.

McDonald’s was forced to close at least 16 units because of the fire, according to local news reports.

An estimated 500,000 people have been evacuated from the area because of the blazes, which extend south from Santa Barbara to the border with Mexico.

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