A Hawaiian native, Hollywood heavy hitter’s plea that tourists give the island community time to heal appeared of little concern to one self-absorbed socialite spotted surfside miles from wildfire devastation.
Reports from the Maui Police Department have indicated that the death toll has surpassed 96, making the Hawaiian wildfires the worst to impact the United States in 100 years. Images of hotel heiress Paris Hilton on the beach not 30 miles from the worst of the devastation in Lahaina suggested that was inconsequential, one day after actor Jason Momoa implored visitors to leave.
Images showed her alongside her husband Carter Reum while she carried their son while they stayed at a Wailea resort, according to the Daily Mail, as the nearby area became known as the “city of tombstones.”
Paris Hilton is seen in Hawaii. pic.twitter.com/tqwHLHtngi
— @21metgala (@21metgala) August 14, 2023
The report stated that Hilton and her family had arrived on the island on Tuesday, the same day that the fires had begun, and remained even after the Hawaii Tourism Authority had encouraged all tourists to depart.
“Visitors who are on non-essential travel are being asked to leave Maui, and non-essential travel to Maui is strongly discouraged at this time,” the agency had posted.
— Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) (@HawaiiHTA) August 9, 2023
The images of Hilton from Saturday, within five miles from where a smaller fire was still active, reportedly did not tell the whole story according to a “source close to” her.”
Speaking with the Mail, that source contended Hilton, “has been absolutely helping. Maui has always held a special place in her heart. She has been gathering supplies and taking them to shelters and those who need. She already did and continues to do so.”
Meanwhile, the heiress’s beach outing took place one day after Hawaiian native Momoa had taken to Instagram to urge even those with the best intentions to avoid the island.
“Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now,” his post indicated. “DO NOT TRAVEL TO MAUI.”
“Do not convince yourself that your presence is needed on an island that is suffering this deeply. Mahalo to everyone who has donated and shown aloha to the community in this time of need,” he went on.
View this post on Instagram
Hilton wasn’t the only one called out for her behavior related to the fires as part-time Hawaiian resident Oprah Winfrey was chided for attempting to bring a camera crew along with her while providing aid to survivors in her several trips in the aftermath.
In subsequent posts, Momoa noted, “The devastation from the wildfires will have a lasting island-wide impact on Maui’s resources,” as he shared a video that detailed the history of the area and featured images of the destruction caused by the fires.
“I can’t believe this happened and I’m praying that everyone that’s unaccounted for gets reunited with their ‘ohana. This is probably the worst disaster that I’ve lived through so far,” he wrote. “As we honor the memories of Lāhaina’s past, let us rebuild and restore this historic town. Maui no ka ‘oi.”
View this post on Instagram
More recently, he shared a post with a number of organizations he believed would make an impact in aiding families directly across Maui, including the Hawaii Community Foundation.
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