PARADISE - The 17,115-acre River Road East burning near Parasie has destroyed several structures.
Sanders County Sheriff Shawn Fielders said at a recent public meeting that preliminary numbers show that 55 structures have been lost to the blaze including 15 “primary residences.”
“It’s a lot, but it could’ve been far, far worse,” Fielders said. "I’ve never seen anything like these firefighters. They threw everything at saving as many structures as absolutely possible.”
The cause of the fire — which sparked on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023 — remains under investigation.
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 blaze is 15% contained.
Watch a video of the full public fire meeting below.