Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are garnering criticism online for reportedly hiring a team of private firefighters to protect their Hidden Hills home from the devastating wildfires in California.
TMZ reported over the weekend that Kimye hired the private team, which was armed with hoses and "tirelessly dug ditches to create a fire break" around their $60 million mansion as fires crept up on their property. Ultimately, their efforts worked, preventing their home from going down in flames like so many other stars' properties in Malibu.
The couple is reportedly also "getting major props from their neighbors" because, in saving the Wests' home, the private team also prevented the Woolsey fire from destroying other homes on their street, as well.
News that the famous couple had secretly hired a private team to protect their own home was faced with backlash on social media this week, with many using their move to highlight the area's wealth gap.
"There's something dystopian about Kim Kardashian secretly hiring private firefighters for her multi-million dollar mansion while publicly garnering sympathy as a 'victim' of the fires when people are dying and incarcerated ppl are forced to fight fires," writer Muqing M. Zhang wrote on Twitter. "It’s as if these natural disasters caused by climate change are merely publicity opportunities for these wealthy elite -- whose sickening amount of wealth means they live as an elite removed from the suffering of the everyday people who actually bear the brunt of these catastrophes."
"These disasters demonstrate that environmental issues are class inequality issues," she went on. "While the rich elite can skate by unscathed, poor people and people of color are the ones who will really bear the brunt of not just this fire but future climate change/environmental disasters."
Related Video: 3 Killed, Nearly 98,000 Acres Burned in Woolsey Fire
"This weekend the entire town of Paradise, CA was incinerated," someone else wrote. "But this wealthy neighborhood was able to buy itself protection from the flames. This is what climate change will look like under neoliberalism."
Not everyone criticized Kim and Kanye for their move, however.
"Resources are meant to be utilized when needed," someone wrote in Kimye's defense. "She and her family members' various Twitter accounts request donations for the CA Fire Foundation. When this is all settled, they'll likely use their platforms to produce some of the top fundraising campaigns to help others."
"Those fire fighters held her WHOLE neighborhood," another person tweeted. "But yea go ahead and cherry pick what you want to hear. But also. When did it become her responsibility to protect all of California???"
As the fire encroached on their area, Kardashian and West evacuated their family and holed up in a Los Angeles-area hotel to escape the fire. A few days later, the KKW Beauty founder appeared at Sunday's People's Choice Awards, where she delivered an emotional call for help as she accepted the award for Best Reality Show of 2018 alongside family members Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Kris.
"It's been a really rough week in our home in Calabasas, Hidden Hills, and for our neighbors in Thousand Oaks and Malibu," Kim said. "Our hearts are broken from the horrific shootings and for those who have lost their lives and homes, as well as the hundreds of thousands of us that have been evacuated from the devastating fires that are currently burning."
"As horrible as this has been, it's been amazing to see the resilient spirit of everyone involved, and the heroism of those risking their lives on the front lines," she continued. "Action is necessary, so anything we can do to help, as simple as donating to the many organization that are collecting supplies, no form of help is too small."
"Our country is stronger when we come together and we cannot face devastation alone," she added. "We must continue to reach out and help each other during these trying times."
In addition to Kim's speech, the family has been actively promoting ways that the public can help aid those affected by the California wildfires on their social media accounts. Additionally, Khloe herself donated supplies to first-responders that she picked up at local pharmacies over the weekend.
The Woolsey fire has devastated several towns on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and it has destroyed the homes of celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, Gerard Butler and Robin Thicke, among others. Nearly 50 people have died as a result of the multiple fires ravaging the state.
- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West criticized for hiring private team to save home: 'There's something dystopian' about it