Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather offered aid to over 100 people displaced by the devastating fires in Maui.
The death toll from the deadliest wildfire the United States has experienced in the the last 100 years has risen to 96 people, while the missing are still being searched for amongst the 2,200 structures destroyed in western Maui’s historic Lahaina.
The destructive wildfire, which a recently filed lawsuit against Hawaii’s main electric provider claims was sparked when hurricane strength winds knocked over electrified power lines, has displaced thousands of people according to FEMA estimates.
On Friday, 1,418 people were hunkered down at emergency evacuation shelters. By Sunday, the government had subsidized over 500 hotel rooms.
The Lahaina fire is still burning after torching nearly 2,200 acres, but 85% contained, while the Kula fire, which has already scorched 678 acres is only 60% contained.
Mayweather lent a much needed helping hand last week, when he personally paid for 68 families to fly from Maui to the state’s capital Honolulu.
According to TMZ Sports, the former five-weight world champ has been putting the families up at hotels, which he is expected to keep up for several weeks.
He has also been providing them with food from local restaurants, and is suspected to be partnering with H&M to help clothe the families who lost everything in the fire.
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns an estate in Maui’s luxurious La Perouse Bay, and his fiance Lauren Sánchez, pledged $100 million to support rebuilding efforts.
“Jeff and I are heartbroken by what’s happening in Maui,” Sánchez wrote on Instagram. “We are thinking of all the families that have lost so much and a community that has been left devastated.”
“Jeff and I are creating a Maui Fund and are dedicating $100 million to help Maui get back on its feet now and over the coming years as the continuing needs reveal themselves.”
Meanwhile, fellow billionaire Oprah Winfrey, who owns over 2,000 acres on the island, sparked backlash for trying to bring a CBS News crew into an emergency shelter.
Officials denied them entry “out of respect for those who have come to seek safety and shelter at emergency shelters.”
“Dear @Oprah Maui Doesn’t need a visit from you with a camera crew How about Matching @JeffBezos pledge of $100M to rebuild?” Someone criticized. “Now THAT’S how you can provide Kokua #MAUIStrong.”
Winfrey promised to make a “major donation” towards the island’s rebuilding efforts. “You know what this week has taught me is that when you don’t know what to do…you do whatever you can,” she said in an Instagram video.
“I went to visit one of the big shelters here at the War Memorial [Stadium] and asked people what it is they needed and then went shopping for some things, some, you know, basic things like towels and sheets and shampoo and other necessities.”
“And at some point, I will make a major donation after all of the smoke and ash have settled here and we figure out what the rebuilding is going to look like,” she pledged.