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Oprah Winfrey opened her private road in Hawaii to aid in Maui fire evacuations.
USA TODAY

Oprah Winfrey is being praised for opening her private road on Maui to help people escape a brush fire that broke out on the Hawaii island Thursday.

The fire prompted evacuations and diverted flights on the island, officials said. An evacuation notice was sent to the cellphones of residents in the town of Maalaea and in parts of Kihei.

Some people took to Twitter to share updates of the fire and ask Winfrey for help.

“@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.”

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

In a quote tweet response, Winfrey said access to the road was given immediately.

“Hi there Jack, Access to the road was given to county officials immediately. This was many hours ago. Hoping for the safety of all,” she wrote.

In addition to dozens of thank you tweets in response to her message, Hawaii’s Governor David Ige tweeted his appreciation.

“A big mahalo to @Oprah for giving @mauicounty access to your private road for use to assist in the #Mauifire,” he tweeted.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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