WeatherWildfire Watch


Paradise community hosts barbecue for River Road East firefighters

Sanders County BBQ
Posted at 10:17 AM, Sep 05, 2023

The River Road East Fire has left scars on Paradise.

The fire sparked on August 18th and quickly took off, destroying over 50 buildings, including many homes, and burning 17,000 acres as of September 4th.

Crews have made progress on lines around the fire and on September 5th, the Northern Rockies Complex Incident Management Team will hand control over to a local type 3 organization.

Before fire teams head out, the Paradise community threw a barbecue at the American Legion Post #129.

“They saved this town. And a lot of houses,” Breyanna King, auxiliary member and part time cook at Paradise's American Legion Post told MTN,

With over 400 pounds of meat, the firefighters, first responders, and railroad workers that risked their lives were treated to a tasty thank you.

“We were going to do this dinner or lunch, we weren’t sure what we were going to do yet, and then we started having people donate money to help serve everybody that helped out.”

Community members' donations made the barbecue possible. King has lived in Paradise for over 20 years and shared that's what people from her town do, help one another.

“I love it here. The people are great. Everybody’s great. Everybody helps everybody whether you know them or not.”

King says the firefighters more than likely saved her home and the homes of many others. For that, she’s beyond grateful. “It’s very touching because I live on the back street in Paradise and they stopped that fire. There’s a big alfalfa field across the street from my house and they stopped that fire just as it came to the bottom. If they hadn’t have stopped it, if one house in Paradise would’ve caught, they probably all would’ve caught.”

Surrounding community fire crews and out of state hotshots came quickly to battle the blaze. Citizens mobilized to help one another evacuate. “A lot of people came to our house to see if we needed help getting out, if we had animals that needed out. We stopped and talked to other people to see if they needed to get help out,” explained King.

The community is recovering as the fire still burns, that’s why coming together is so important. King shared, “Help your community. Help your neighbor.”