We received a note from a joyous resident in Seeley Lake this afternoon. With some bittersweet undertones, unfortunately.

It's not necessarily permanent, but for now Seeley - the actual lake itself - has been reopened to recreational use. Just like the town itself, Placid, Alva, Inez and Salmon Lakes, among others in the area, had been open all along. But Seeley Lake had been closed to recreation so planes could safely extract water to fight the Rice Ridge Fire. And while the challenges of that fire are far from over, it has been lowered to the number four priority fire in the U.S. The downside? The planes that were gathering water from Seeley Lake have had to concentrate more effort on the Lolo Peak Fire in the Bitterroot Valley.

But still, a thumbs up for Seeley Lake, and our thoughts are with everyone dealing with these horrendous blazes.

DB