Celebrities have been paying for private firefighters to save their homes from the wildfires that have been sweeping across California.
The fires have been raging through both northern and southern California, forcing thousands of people in the state to evacuate while their homes get destroyed.
Most people can do nothing but wait to see what damage is caused, but circumstances mean that certain people – including some celebrities – are able to pay to protect their properties.
Among those celebs are Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who reportedly hired a private team to take control of the blaze at their $60 million (approximately £46 million) home.
Kim tweeted last Friday (November 9), telling her 58.9 million followers that the flames had reached their Hidden Hills property.
I heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment. It doesn’t seems like it is getting worse right now, I just pray the winds are in our favor. God is good. I’m just praying everyone is safe
I heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment. It doesn’t seems like it is getting worse right now, I just pray the winds are in our favor. God is good. I’m just praying everyone is safe 🙏🏼
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 9, 2018
According to TMZ, the private team of firefighters dug ditches to prevent the fire from spreading and successfully saved their mansion from getting destroyed.
The couple had already evacuated their home last week under a mandatory state order, which meant the entire area had to be evacuated.
Kim and Kanye bought the property in 2014 and have since spent millions renovating it – making sure there is a recording studio for Kanye and a huge master bedroom addition, as well as a spa and massive closet space.
The celebrity couple have been living there for less than a year and it is completely understandable that they would do anything possible to save their home.
They didn’t stop at just their property though. The firefighters reportedly saved the houses in the surrounding area as well. TMZ claim to have spoken to several neighbours who thanked the Kardashian-Wests for enabling the firefighters to save their homes.
And they aren’t the only people who can afford to avoid the inevitable consequences of such disasters. According to Motherboard, certain insurance companies provide ‘wildfire mitigation services’ to allow clients to save themselves in the event of a worst-case fire scenario meanwhile those most vulnerable – those with disabilities and the elderly – are still at risk.
One such company is AIG, who have a Wildfire Protection Unit for private clients. This unit is made up of AIG employees who are certified through state or local authorities.
They are able to protect homes with flame retardants, as well as responding to fires and mapping homes in real time as wildfires approach.
This means that those with money are able to protect their most beloved possessions – including their homes – in case of disastrous fires such as those in California.
The northern blaze in the state is being referred to as the ‘Camp Fire’, while the southern blaze is the ‘Woolsey Fire’. The Woolsey Fire has burned through at least 91,000 acres, destroyed 370 structures, and killed two people.
The Camp Fire has officially become the deadliest single wildfire on record for the state after it killed 48 people and destroyed more than 8,800 homes and businesses – particularly in the town of Paradise, the Independent reports.
Firefighters are currently doing some incredible, relentless work to contain the fire. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the devastating events.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help those impacted by the fires – donate here.
If you are affected by the California fires, please visit Cal Fire for up to date information about evacuation centres and containment.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).