Oprah Winfrey’s TV crew was denied entry to a wildfire shelter in Maui on Sunday (August 13).
The talk show host and media mogul – who has lived on the Hawaiian island part-time for the last 15 years – has been providing supplies and support to shelters after wildfires devastated the town of Lahaina, resulting in at least 106 deaths.
The County of Maui has now thanked Winfrey for her cooperation and understanding.
Posting to Facebook earlier this week, the County of Maui wrote: “To clarify, Oprah was able to visit our shelter and we thank her for instructing media journalists and camera crews to remain outside.
“We welcome Oprah to continue to uplift our community’s spirit and give her aloha to victims of the tragic disaster.
“Her visit inside of the shelter today was truly heartwarming and we appreciate her understanding of our policy of having no camera crews or reporters accompanying dignitaries and celebrities in our emergency shelters.
The TV star has reportedly visited one shelter multiple times now, and told Hawaii News Now: “In a week or two, all the cameras will be gone and the rest of the world is going to move on with their lives and we’re all still going to be here trying to figure out what is the best way to rebuild.
“I will be here for the longhaul, doing what I can.”
Five days ago Winfrey did speak to the BBC from inside a shelter, saying that it was “a little overwhelming” to be there.
“But I’m really pleased to have so many people supporting. And you know, people are just bringing what they can,” she said, adding that she came earlier to see what people needed before going shopping.
Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood is among those impacted by the wildfires in Maui, announcing that his restaurant there is one of the numerous buildings that have burnt down.