Oprah Winfrey opens private road at her home to help evacuations during Maui brush fire
Oprah Winfrey is being praised across social media for opening the private road on her property to help with the Maui fire evacuations in Hawaii.
A large brush fire on the island erupted Thursday, prompting evacuations and diverting flights on the island, officials said, USA Today reports.
Residents in the town of Maalaea and in parts of Kihei received an evacuation notice on the cell phones after a fire started along Kuihelani Highway, forcing thousands to leave their homes. Shelters in Wailuku and Kihei have been made available for the displaced, Maui County officials said.
“We are asking everyone to conserve energy, conserve water, and do what you can to be prepared,” Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said. “If you need to evacuate, please be aware of what’s going on around you.”
Meanwhile, folks have been showing their appreciation to Winfrey online after the media mogul opened the gate to the private road on her property in Maui so residents of Maalaea and parts of Kihei could flee the area quicker and more safely, CNN reports.
Several locals tweeted Winfrey asking her to share the code to the gate to allow residents to evacuate the area.
“@Oprah there’s a huge brush fire on Maui right now! People are trying to evacuate Kihei-my husband and son included!” one person tweeted. “If you would kindly share the code to your gate/road, folks can evacuate through Kula.”
Another said, “@Oprah Maui is on fire consider opening the ranch road so we can get upcountry.”
Winfrey was quick to respond, noting that “Access to the road was given to county officials immediately. This was many hours ago. Hoping for the safety of all.”
Hi there Jack, Access to the road was given to county officials immediately. This was many hours ago. Hoping for the safety of all. ?? https://t.co/BxsPNUkkJC
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) July 12, 2019
“Of course it is,” one person replied to Winfrey after she made clear that the road on her property is open, “because you’re awesome and always prepared to do for others,” the fan added.
Another said: “Of course Oprah comes thru with the clutch.”
Hawaii’s Governor David Ige also tweeted his appreciation to Winfrey, “A big mahalo to @Oprah for giving @mauicounty access to your private road for use to assist in the #Mauifire,” he wrote.
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) July 12, 2019