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black bear diner Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America
Black Bear Diner's location in Paradise

Calif. wildfires destroy outlets of several major restaurant brands

California Restaurant Association said it is ready to help displaced workers

Fires in California raged on Monday leaving devastated communities in their path, as they destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses including locations of several quick-service chains in Northern California.

As of Monday, the Woolsey fire near the posh community of Malibu, Calif., had scorched 91,572 acres and was only 20 percent contained, according to state authorities. Two people were killed in the blaze, officials said. The fire hasdestroyed an estimated 370 structures. An additional 57,000 structures are threatened by the fire, which started last week.

In Northern California, the Camp fire has burned 113,000 acres over four days and destroyed 6,453 homes and 260 commercial buildings, state authorities reported. Fourty-two fatalities were confirmed as of Tuesday morning. Much of the destruction has occurred in Paradise, a small community of 26,000 residents nestled in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The fire, which is only 25 percent contained, barreled its way through the town incinerating hospitals, elementary schools, grocery stores and restaurants.

A KFC, a Burger King, a Jack in the Box and a McDonald's were gobbled up by flames in Paradise leaving nothing but rubble, according to details confirmed by Nation’s Restaurant News, as well information cited in various Bay Area news sites.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

A KFC unit engulfed in flames at Paradise

It remains early to gauge the full scope of the fires’ damage, but the California Restaurant Association, said it is “ready and eager” to help impacted workers. The foundation’s Restaurants Care program provides basic living expenses to help restaurant workers who face unforeseen hardships, illnesses or natural disasters.

“If anyone wants to help, donations will go a long way as people recover and rebuild,” Alycia Harshfield, executive director for CRA foundation, said.

The foundation will work with restaurants in unaffected areas to raise funding for the program. Anyone wanting to help, or seeking help, can visit the group’s website.

Here’s a list of known restaurants damaged by the California fires, as well as restaurants and celebrities helping first responders. Information was confirmed by either NRN or obtained from various media outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate.

  • A KFC on Clark Road in Paradise was destroyed when the Camp Fire ripped through the area. The company said the franchise unit was “a complete structural loss.” “We have made contact with the franchisee of this restaurant and confirmed there were no reported injuries to KFC team members,” the company told NRN. “The KFC Foundation is working to provide emergency support to restaurant team members in the affected area through its KFC Family Fund.”
  • A McDonald’s burned down in Paradise. The only thing left untouched was the restaurant’s famed “Golden Arches” sign, which remained upright near the restaurant, as seen in a dramatic photo on the SF Gate’s website.
  • A Jack in the Box spokesman said a franchise unit in Paradise was destroyed. One Jack in the Box in Malibu remained close as of Monday. “We’ve had four other restaurants in the state that were temporarily closed, but all have re-opened,” spokesman Brian Luscomb said. The Jack in the Box Foundation is making a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross.
  • Two Taco Bell franchise restaurants, one in Calabasas and one in Paradise, were closed due to the California fires, spokesman Rob Poetsch said. The Oroville, Ca. Taco Bell restaurants are open and “team members are helping out feeding evacuees at the Salvation Army,” he said. The Irvine, Calif.-based chain plans to send its Taco Bell Truck to feed first responders and residents impacted by the fires.
  • Black Bear Diner was engulfed and burned to the ground. A wooden Bear mascot sign remained untouched. The bear is holding a sign, saying: “Welcome to Bearadise.” The company told NRN: “We are sad to report that our Paradise location was destroyed by the fire, and we are currently estimating the financial cost of the damage. Fortunately, all of our approximately 40 employees are safe and accounted for.” It added that it would assist any relocated employees in their job searches, had been in touch with the California Restaurant Association about its disaster grant process and employee assistance program.
  • Darlene’s Fine Candy & Ice Cream in Paradise was destroyed, according to media outlets.
  •  A Jersey Mike’s representative said “fortunately no stores have been damaged due to the fires,” though five locations in the Los Angeles area were closed temporarily on Friday. They have since reopened. Since Thursday, Nov. 8, Jersey Mike’s has been feeding first responders in Southern California. The company first began feeding local authorities and volunteers after the Thousand Oaks shooting and providing free sub cards to those donating blood. It continued to feed first responders battling the fires.

Jersey Mike’s

Jersey Mike’s has been feeding first responders in Southern California.

  • Food Network personality Guy Fieri, who lives about three hours south of Paradise, cooked pulled pork over the weekend for first responders in Northern California. “Guy Fieri made a surprise visit to serve dinner to everyone at the law enforcement staging area at Butte College. Thank you so much Guy for filling our bellies and lifting our spirits,” according to the Butte County Sheriff's official Twitter page.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill had closed one restaurant in Malibu; however, as of Monday, that restaurant is fully functional, a company spokeswoman said.
  • Panda Express restaurants have not been impacted. However, the chain said it is “working with the Red Cross to help provide warm meals to first responders.”
  • Dunkin’ shops in California are also delivering food to first responders across the state, the company said.
  • Subway said a franchise owner lost two of his restaurants in the fast-moving Camp fire; eight other Subways are temporarily closed in areas impacted by the two California fires. “The company and the team in California have rallied together to donate food and water to first responders and disaster relief teams," the company said.
  • Two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Southern California have been impacted by the Woolsey fire. The Westlake Village restaurant is only accepting carry-out and drive-thru orders; the patio is closed. The Moorpark Road restaurant was temporarily closed. It was slated to reopen Monday night. Both locations are giving first responders who visit the restaurant free meals, said a Chick-fil-A representative.
  • The franchise owner of a Mountain Mike’s restaurant in Paradise lost his home. The restaurant survived the wildfire. The franchisee is organizing pizza deliveries for those evacuated and first responders.

Update November 13, 2018: This article has been revised to include updates from new restaurant brands as well as an updated death toll for the Camp fire.

Update November 13, 2018: The bullet point on Mountain Mike's has been updated to reflect that the chain's restaurant was not destroyed, as previously thought.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

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