The 17,115-acre River Road East burning near Paradise in Sanders County has destroyed dozens of structures.
Sanders County Sheriff Shawn Fielders said at a recent public meeting that preliminary numbers show that 55 structures have been lost to the fire, including 15 “primary residences.”
“It’s a lot, but it could’ve been far, far worse,” Sheriff Fielders stated. I’ve never seen anything like these firefighters. They threw everything at saving as many structures as absolutely possible.”
There have been no reports of any serious injuries.
The cause of the fire — which sparked on Friday, August 18, 2023 — is still being investigated.
The Montana Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees at the Church on the Move at 300 Clayton Street in Plains.
There are 711 people assigned to the River Road East Fire as of Monday morning.
The fire is 14% contained as of Monday, August 28, 2023.
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Watch a video of the full public fire meeting below.