Home » Former Utah Resident Assists in Rescue Efforts as Maui Wildfires Devastate Island

Former Utah Resident Assists in Rescue Efforts as Maui Wildfires Devastate Island

by Nolan Hawk

As the death toll continues to rise from the devastating Maui wildfires, one former Utah resident stepped up to lend a helping hand.

Summer Davies, 53, who recently moved to Maui and found herself at the forefront of the initial rescue efforts in the most catastrophic natural disaster in the state’s history.

Davies, now a resident of Lahaina, was meeting a friend at the airport when the wildfire began to rapidly spread across the island.

They quickly headed to Maalaea Harbor, where her friend works at a sailing company, to use the boats to aid the Coast Guard in their rescue mission.

Once on the water, they ferried the wounded to first responders, and brought children to Coast Guard ships.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Davies said about the hurricane fueled fire that killed at least 53 people and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings on Tuesday. “It was just totally unreal.”

The Coast Guard confirmed rescued 14 people from a breakwall near Lahaina harbor on Tuesday night, after they took refuge in the ocean to escape the flames.

A 45-foot cutter boat and helicopters were dispatched to save the fleeing swimmers, who are all in stable condition after being taken to safety.

The Riverside City Fire Department was directed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to deploy an 11 person task force to Maui to aid in search and recovery operations in Maui.

“Californians know firsthand the devastating toll of catastrophic wildfires fueled by climate change, capable of wiping out entire communities and centuries of irreplaceable history and heritage,” Newsom said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our state is sending resources to support our Pacific neighbors during their time of need.”

Humans aren’t the only ones who need rescuing from the destructive fires, the Maui Humane Society expects hundreds of lost and wounded animals to flood overpopulated shelters in the upcoming days and weeks.

One lucky, but injured pup has already been brought to the shelter with severe burns to her body, after being rescued by a heroic firefighter on Thursday.

The organization stared a fundraiser that is only $5,000 short of their $150,000 goal as of early Friday morning.

Davies, who was unable to access her own home due to the ongoing fires, recently departed the island.

She landed safely in California on Thursday, after being jetted out of Maui on a plane manned entirely by volunteers aiding Maui residents.

Davies urged anyone who could donate to send funds to relief organizations like the American Red Cross, the Maui Strong Fund, and Maui United Way to assist the victims of the fire.

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