UPDATE: 12:15 p.m. - Aug. 19, 2023
New information shows the River Road East Fire burning near Paradise has grown to 11,951 acres and is 0% contained.
Fire managers report the blaze 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 point protection of structures.
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 cause of this fire is currently which is burning six miles east remains under investigation.
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.
(first report: 9:46 a.m. - Aug. 19, 2023)
A wildfire that broke out Friday afternoon near Paradise in Sanders County had burned an estimated 500 acres as of late Friday with evacuations remaining in place.
The River Road East Fire — which is six miles east of Plains — jumped to the south side of the Clark Fork River where it meets with the Flathead River.
The Sanders County Sheriff's Office reported Friday evening that some areas around Paradise are under evacuation while others have been placed on pre-evacuation notice.
Residents impacted by the evacuation orders will receive a call or be contacted in person by deputies and officers.
People who were being evacuated on Friday were asked to go to the fairgrounds in Plains.
The American Red Cross has since set up a shelter for evacuees at the Church on the Move, which is located at 300 Clayton Street in Plains.
Montana Highway 200 between Paradise and Plains was closed Friday afternoon due to the wildfire but was open to traffic again as of Saturday morning.
The River Road East Fire is burning in the Plains Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest.
The blaze 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 and Conservation land.
The DNRC was being assisted by Lolo National Forest officials, rural fire departments, and the Sanders County Sheriff's Office.
An Incident Management Team will take command of the blaze on Saturday.