The number of displaced Southern Californians climbed to more than 1 million Wednesday as several wildfires continued their warlike march across the state's arid brush and forests.

Tuesday night saw some 12,000 S. Diego residents bed-in at the downtown Qualcomm Stadium, waiting for word on the fate of their homes and belongings. There to feed about 3,000 of them were Chabad-Lubavitch representatives and a team of volunteers who had driven in a mobile kitchen to supplement the relief efforts of the city's own Chabad Houses.

"We had chicken soup, hot dogs, potato kugel, chicken, rice, fried vegetables, whatever you would want," reported Rabbi Mendel Cohen, a bit weary at 1 a.m. Wednesday in the midst of his trek back to Los Angeles. "The kosher food was a big hit."

Cohen, co-director of the Maalot Chabad Center in West Los Angeles, manages the Sharing the Warmth program of Chabad of the West Coast that helps Holocaust survivors and the elderly. With the help of some community members, he took the organization's food truck, stocked it with food donated by two local businesses – Jeff's Gourment Kosher Sausage and Kosher Club – brought along a chef and headed south through the smoke-filled air towards S. Diego.

"Parts of the road were crowded because of the evacuations, but once we were on the way to the city, we saw smoke coming from the mountains and streams of people going the other direction," said Cohen. "There were a lot of flames the way in, so we definitely felt a little frightened, like we were driving right into the action."

When they got to the stadium, which had been visited earlier by a team of college students led by Rabbi Chalom Mendel Boudjnah, co-director of S. Diego's Jewish Student Life Center – a Chabad House serving the campuses of S. Diego State University and the University of California at S. Diego – people from all walks of life, Jewish and non-Jewish, descended on the truck in the pursuit of hot food.

"There were a lot of people," said Isaac, a Los Angeles resident and driver of the truck who withheld his last name. "Everybody was scared, but we got to calm them down, give them some warm food."

Cohen said that one of the most interesting encounters he had was when a Muslim woman came to the truck for a bite to eat.

"She was watching people's pets at the stadium and hadn't eaten all day," he said. "When she saw that there was kosher food, she knew she could finally eat."

The rabbi, who had helped coordinate Chabad-Lubavitch relief efforts in the wake of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed most of New Orleans, and the 2004 tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people across Southeast Asia, commended California officials for a "very well organized" evacuation.

"In the stadium, everyone was told exactly where they should be," he said. "While outside, it was chaotic, inside people could have the opportunity to be relaxed and calm."