Residents of the Bismarck/Mandan/Lincoln metro have asked how they can contribute to the California wildfire relief effort. Here is what you need to know.

As the New York Times reports, the wildfires in California have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed thousands of homes. So far (as of Tuesday), 44 people have died.

Here's how you can help the relief effort:

The American Red Cross - The organization has opened shelters across California to help evacuees. They also have an online tool that people can use to register themselves as safe. If you're concerned about the whereabouts of friends and loved ones in California, go here.

California Wildfire Relief Fund - Involved in rebuilding homes, providing financial and mental health assistance and helping victims get medical treatment.

California Fire Foundation - Distributing financial assistance to people who have lost everything in the fires.

Caring Choices - Performing a variety of duties, including care of displaced animals.

To donate blood, contact United Blood Services in Bismarck.

[Source: New York Times, Dakotas Region American Red Cross]