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John Cena donates $500,000 to help first responders fighting California wildfires

Millions in California under red flag warnings
Millions under red flag warnings as fires burn in California 02:29

Actor and WWE superstar John Cena announced Monday on Twitter he would donate $500,000 to a charity that benefits first responders. The star, who plays a firefighter in his upcoming film "Playing with Fire," lauded the efforts of crews battling the blazes in California.

In the tweeted video, Cena tells viewers about the film, which "Showcases a group of people I believe are heroes — first responders." He added that due to the fires in the Golden State, real first responders are "working around the clock and they need our help."

"Today, I asked myself, 'What can I do?' I have come up with an answer," Cena said. He then requested that Paramount Pictures, which is distributing the comedy, choose a charity that "aides first responders," and pledged to donate to their pick.

"On behalf of 'Playing with Fire' and out of respect to the people that I truly believe are heroes, my response will be to immediately donate half a million dollars to this cause," he added. "This is the right thing to do and I am doing my part to help the cause. I wish everyone the best of luck, please stay safe and you are our heroes."

Cena posted the tweet on National First Responders Day, October 28. Since then, the tweet has garnered nearly 3,000 retweets and over 17,000 likes.

Paramount Pictures thanked the star Monday on Twitter and chose the California Fire Foundation and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. The company wrote the organizations, "provide essential services to the dedicated firefighters who are working tirelessly to keep us safe."

The star responded by calling the organizations "two incredible choices," and saying "a total of $500K is coming your way" on behalf of Paramount and the cast of "Playing With Fire."

Crews of first responders have been battling multiple wildfires across California. The Kincade Fire in Northern California has grown to 75,415 acres, Cal Fire said on Twitter Tuesday morning. The fire was 15% contained. The blaze has destroyed 124 structures, the agency said, 57 of which were residential homes. Twenty-three others were damaged, and more than 90,000 were at risk.

The Getty Fire in Southern California grew to 656 acres as of 5 p.m. local time, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a Tuesday press conference. The fire, which has destroyed at least 12 homes, is now 15% contained.

Disclaimer: Paramount Pictures is a Viacom company, owned by National Amusements, Inc. — which also owns CBS Corporation, the parent company of CBS News and CBS Interactive.

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