As wildfires raged through the island, celebrities took the lead in mobilising resources
Oprah Winfrey, the 69-year-old chat show host, has spent more than 15 years living part-time in Maui, where her nearly 1,000-acre property is under threat, sandwiched as it is between South Maui and the upcountry wildfires. Oprah was spotted at an evacuation centre, the War Memorial Stadium in Maui, helping hand out supplies like pillows, shampoo, diapers, sheets, and pillowcases.
Jason Momoa, a native of Honolulu, took to his social media, appealing to tourists to stay away even as he amplified resources and places to donate. The ‘Aquaman’ star said in a statement: “My heart goes out to all those affected by the devastating fires across the Island of Maui. In times like these, we come together as an ‘Ohana, a family, to kāko’o and kōkua one another… The destruction caused by these fires is heartbreaking, but our community’s resilience and strength will shine through.”
British rocker Mick Fleetwood’s Lahaina restaurant, Fleetwood Mac, was destroyed by the raging fires. “This is a devastating moment for Maui, and many are suffering unimaginable loss,” the 76-year-old co-founder posted on Facebook. “Fleetwood’s on Front Street has been lost and while we are heartbroken, our main priority is the safety of our dear staff and team members.”
Actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who spent part of his childhood in Hawaii, took to Instagram to help in relief efforts. “All our local families, our ohana, our aiga, stay strong thru this devastating time. Resilience resolve is our DNA. Our ancestors are in our blood. This is who we are. This is what we do. I love you. Stay strong,” he posted. Johnson is working with organisations on the ground.
‘Moana’ star Aulii Cravalho, a native Hawaiian, urged her fans to find ways to help. She took to Instagram to say: “Of all the natural disasters we have faced; earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and flooding … to say we were under-prepared for this disaster is an understatement. DO NOT TRAVEL TO HAWAII UNLESS YOU ARE RENDERING AID. This has been declared a FEDERAL DISASTER. Your vacation can wait. My heart and funds and donations are headed your way Hawaii, even if I physically am not.”
Former ‘James Bond’ star Pierce Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye are residents of the state, maintaining a home on the island of Kauai. Keely took to Instagram and sought support from fans, writing: “My sincere and heartfelt prayers for Maui, the Hawaiian community, residents, families and animals affected by these unprecedented wildfires.”
“The beautiful island of #Maui, in the most beautiful state in the union, is suffering,” Betty Midler tweeted. “My family and I send our deepest and most profound sympathies to everyone who has lost anything or everything in the #MauiFires.”