Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

Kim Kardashian Explained To Ellen DeGeneres Why She Hired Private Firefighters To Protect Her Home From California Wildfire

"I know that not everyone has this luxury available to them."

The wind-driven California wildfires forced many people to evacuate their homes earlier this month. With 84 people dead and 870 others missing, it's been the most devastating wildfire in the state's history.

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

With the fires reaching wealthy areas of California, celebrities such as Gerard Butler are amongst those to have lost their homes.

Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD. If you can, support these brave men and women at

However, a report by TMZ revealed that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West hired private firefighters to keep the blaze away from their home, and according to the same report, neighbours thanked them for also saving their homes too.

C Flanigan / FilmMagic

This was met with mixed reactions online, with many people criticising the use of private firefighters, especially since officials said it was only making their job harder.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

According to officials, the team of private firefighters "didn’t obtain permission from authorities to enter the threatened upscale neighbourhood that had been placed under mandatory evacuation" which therefore broke state guidelines and put other firefighters at risk.

People hit Twitter to express their "disgust" at the news, calling it an abuse of their privilege.

Others compared Kim and Kanye's actions to those of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, who lost their home to the fires and donated $500,000 to fire relief efforts.

However, some people did jump in to defend the couple.

Now, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Kim discussed the couple's decision to hire the private firefighters. "I feel like we were really blessed to have the help of the firefighters that we did. Our house is right on the end of a big park, so the whole park had caught fire and if our house went, then every other house would go," she explained.

The Ellen Show

Acknowledging that not everyone has the luxury of being able to protect their homes in the same way, Kim went on to explain that the company that the private firefighters came from had been recommended to her by friends who had recently lost their home in a Santa Barbra fire.

The Ellen Show

But after noting that she'd seen some of the comments and reports online, she fought back against claims that the decision was selfish, revealing that she instructed the team of firefighters to protect all the houses on the edge of the park for fear that if one caught fire, the rest would follow.

They saved our home and saved our neighbourhood. I had them just make sure that they controlled every house on the edge, so it wasn't just my home that I said "just take care of our home". Take care of everything, because once they go, once ours starts, the whole neighbourhood can go.

She finished by saying, "I don't take that for granted and that was such a blessing that we were able to do that."

The Ellen Show

During the appearance, Kim also presented donations on behalf of Kanye, Yeezy, and Adidas, totalling $500,000.

The Ellen Show

$200,000 was donated to the California Fire Foundation, $200,000 to the California Community Foundations Wildfire Relief Fund, and $100,000 to a firefighter and his family who lost their home.

You can watch the full clip here:

View this video on YouTube

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form