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Oprah opens private road for Maui fire evacuation

Smoke fills the sky during a fire in Maui (Photo: Leilani Zerkle)

MAUI — Oprah Winfrey got a “big mahalo” for opening her private road on her property in Maui to help people quickly escape a brush fire that broke out Thursday.

Residents in the town of Maalaea and parts of Kihei were sent an evacuation notice on their phones, and flights to the island were diverted.

“@Oprah Maui is on fire consider opening the ranch road so we can get upcountry,” one wrote.

“@Oprah there’s a huge brush fire on Maui right now! People are trying to evacuate Kihei-my husband and son included!” one resident tweeted. “If you would kindly share the code to your gate/road, folks can evacuate through Kula.”

Winfrey responded that she had given immediate access to her private road:

Hawaii’s Governor David Ige tweeted his appreciation:

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