NewsWildfire Watch


Wildfire near Paradise explodes to more than 11,000 acres

Paradise Fire Ronan VFD
Posted at 12:51 PM, Aug 19, 2023

PARADISE — New information shows the River Road East Fire burning near Paradise has grown to 11,951 acres and is 0% contained.

As of Saturday, there are no reports of any injuries, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Fire managers report the fire was "extremely active" into Friday evening as it was pushed by dry conditions and high winds.

The fire has burned both south and north of Montana Highway 200 and the Clark Fork River near Paradise.

Crews are focusing on public safety and worked through the night on protection of structures.

Paradise Fire Map

Additional fire personnel have been ordered and Northern Rockies Complex Incident Management Team 1 will take command of the fire at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The Sanders County Sheriff's Office ordered evacuations on Friday, which remain in effect.

The Montana Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees at the Church on the Move at 300 Clayton Street in Plains. Evacuated livestock can go be taken to the fairgrounds in Plains.

Montana Highway 200 is again open to traffic. However, River Road East is closed to the public.

river road east fire august 19

The River Road East Fire is burning in the Plains Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest.

The fire started on private property along the Clark Fork River near the railroad tracks by Paradise Friday around 1:30 p.m., according to a Lolo National Forest official.

The fire then started to burn on Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation land.

The DNRC is being assisted by Lolo National Forest officials, rural fire departments, and the Sanders County Sheriff's Office.

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