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Niners to host HS team affected by wildfire tonight

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The San Francisco 49ers are doing their part to help a community affected by tragedy.

The organization will host Paradise High School's football team for San Francisco's Monday Night Football contest against the New York Giants, according to a report from KRCR-TV in Redding, California.

The town of Paradise was essentially wiped out by the Camp Fire that began late last week and continues to rage in Butte County. Many of the Paradise football players lost homes in the fire, and the team was forced to forfeit their playoff game last week.

"So many of our kids are struggling with life to begin with, they're teenagers trying to find their way," said Paradise HS principal Loren Lighthall, who also lost his home in the fire. "I wish more people could go (to the game), I wish we could send the whole town. It's had a great effect on these kids and me, just to be able to bring them together. It's a great thing the 49ers are doing."

The 49ers are providing tickets and buses to the Monday night game in Santa Clara. The team's strength and conditioning coach, Shane Wallen, grew up in Paradise and graduated from Pleasant Valley High School and Butte College, according to KRCR-TV's story. His father's home in Magalia -- a town about which Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke in relation to the Camp Fire on Sunday -- was destroyed in the fire.

"Obviously my heart goes out to the great people of Paradise, California," Rodgers said Sunday. "Growing up in Chico and spending a great deal of time up there, I played a lot of football and basketball and sports up in Paradise. Basically lived in Magalia at one point, which is kind of an even tinier town off of Paradise and the devastation there is tough. Hearing the stories of people running down the highways to avoid the fire. Knowing that people burned alive in their cars, it's heartbreaking for sure."

The 49ers also announced initial plans to support the communities that have been tragically impacted in recent days, starting with naming North Valley Community Foundation as the new recipient of proceeds from Monday night's 50/50 raffle during the game against the Giants. The 49ers will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for the contributions raised by fans during the game, according to a release from the team.

The team added it will continue to monitor the situation in Butte County and the surrounding areas and is prepared to take further action as more needs emerge.

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