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So. Cal. Fires Slow IT Channel Business

The series of 10-plus wildfires in southern California which have burned more than 1,100 homes in San Diego, Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties is also having an impact on the local IT community.

Several vendors in the San Diego area reported business was slow for Monday, while some solution providers they were difficult to contact.

A number of solution providers in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas abruptly canceled plans to attend the Xchange conference co-sponsored by CRN this week in Scottsdale, Ariz., due to concerns about the fire or the difficulty of flying out of the local airports. Air traffic was backed up for hours in the area due to fire fears which led to the closure of an air traffic control center in southern California. Those delays put a crimp in travel plans for many techies traveling to Los Angeles for the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.

At least one solution provider flew home due to concerns that one of the fires was near his home, sources at Xchange said. A call to that solution provider could not be completed because of telephone line trouble in the area.

Nth Generation, the San Diego-based solution provider which is HP's largest storage partner on the west coast, was closed for the day. Calls to Nth were answered with this message: "Our office is closed on Monday, October 27, in compliance with a request by [San Diego] Mayor Murphy. This is a result of the firestorm that has so many of our roads and freeways closed."

A Gateway spokesperson reached at home on Monday said the San Diego-based company was open for business as usual. However, employees were given the option of working from home for the day. A few employees were affected by the fire, but most showed up for the morning before leaving for the afternoon.

The spokesperson said the company expects business to return to normal in a day or two.

Storage vendor Dot Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., about 20 miles north of San Diego, was open on Monday, with a few people staying away due to the fire, a company spokesperson said. However, business was slow, the spokesperson said.

The situation was similar at Overland Storage, a San Diego-based storage vendor. A company spokesperson there said a few employees were unable to get to the office, and all employees were told to stay at home if they had any concerns about the fire, the spokesperson said.

San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium was converted into a makeshift shelter for displaced families.

Barbara Darrow contributed to this report.

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