(ABC4) — A former Utah resident who recently moved to the Hawaiian island of Maui helped in the initial rescue efforts of what is becoming one of the most deadly natural disasters in the state’s history.

As the death toll from the Maui wildfires rises to 53, with entire neighborhoods in Lahaina burned to the ground, one woman is trying to raise awareness of different ways to help those affected.

Summer Davies used to live in Farmington, Utah but recently moved to Lahaina. She was meeting up with a friend at the airport when the wildfire began to spread across the island. Once she had picked up her friend, they went to the Maalaea Harbor to assist in the rescue efforts.

Her friend works for a company called Sail Trilogy which owns several boats, one of which was burned in the fire. They used the remaining boats to join the coast guard in rescuing those who were escaping the fire, swimming with children to coast guard boats and carrying the wounded to firetrucks.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Davies said. “It was just totally unreal.”

The wildfire was fueled by the dry summer and by winds from a passing hurricane. It destroyed everything in its path, including over 1,000 buildings.

“We’re fortunate I still have a home, many people don’t have homes to return to,” Davies said. She said many people lost everything, leaving them homeless and without vehicles or clothing.

Davies later left the island as no one in Lahaina is able to access their homes due to ongoing fires. She landed in California earlier today, Aug. 10, on a plane that was flown by an entire crew of volunteers helping Maui residents leave the island.

Utah Governor Cox recently said he has assured Hawaii Governor Green “that Utah stands ready to help in any way possible.”

Yesterday, Cox addressed the Maui tragedy on social media saying, “While I’ve never been there, Utah is home to one of the largest Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities anywhere and I know so many are impacted by this disaster.”

In an interview with ABC4, Davies urged those who were able to donate to do so, providing a list of organizations aiding those displaced or injured by the fires.

Davies suggested sending donations to the American Red Cross, the Maui Strong Fund, Maui United Way, or the Sail Trilogy GoFundMe for its employees who lost their homes.

Disclaimer: ABC4 cannot vouch for these donation sites. It is recommended to research before donating funds to any organization.