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Entries in Seeley Lake (5)


Rice Ridge Fire now largest in Western MT

Rice Ridge Fire has been burning for more than a month- USFS photo(SEELEY LAKE)- After another expansive run the Rice Ridge Fire is now the largest burning in Western Montana, topping 52,000 acres as of Sunday morning. 

The fire has grown by roughly 10,000 acres in a little over a day with containment around 18% in mountainous country east of Seeley Lake. 

The fire was started by passing lightning on July 24th and has continued to pose a challenge for firefighters, and the Seeley Lake community, much of which remains evacuated. 

The fire has continued to burn fiercely along the western edge facing Seeley Lake, and has been spreading to the east over the past couple of days. 

Evacuations are still in place along the eastern edge of Seeley Lake facing the fire. Other evacuation warnings also remain as crews were bracing for gusty easterly winds through Sunday evening into Monday. 


Father and son safe after becoming stranded on snowmobile trip

KPAX TV photo(SEELEY LAKE)- A father and son from Helena men are resting up after being stranded all night in the woods on a snowmobiling trip near Seeley Lake.

KPAX TV reports rescuers found the pair after looking all night, spotting them from a helicopter. They were cold, but okay after getting one of the machines stuck in some steep terrain trying to cross a creek. Missoula County Sheriff's deputies say the pair were well prepared to spend the night in the cold and were unharmed by their ordeal. 

Searchers had spent all night looking for the pair after they were reported overdue by family members. They were spotted Monday by a Flathead County helicopter who spotted them from the air. 



Deal reached to protect wildlife area near Seeley Lake

Deer Creek- Five Valleys Land Trust photo(SEELEY LAKE)- More than 600-acres of forest near Seeley Lake are going to be protected for wildlife habitat under an agreement worked out by the state, two conservation groups and Plum Creek Timber. 

The 640-acres lie along Deer Creek, which is a major “cold water” tributary leading into Seeley Lake, and considered to be key wildlife and riparian habitat on the Clearwater watershed and the adjacent Mission Mountains Wilderness Area. In addition to bull trout and cutthroat trout habitat, the land is known to be used by elk, grizzly bears and the endangered Canada Lynx. 

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Five Valleys Land Trust and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks worked together to work out funding and details of the transfer from Plum Creek. The land will become a permanent part of FWP’s adjacent Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area. It will be managed for public recreational use, including hunting, hiking, bird watching and snowmobile use in the winter. 

“This small tract of wild Montana land is extremely important for a variety of wildlife—from elk to trout,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “We’re glad we could utilize our strategic land protection fund and money raised by our RMEF chapters in Montana to help make this purchase possible.”

“Recent research data proved what locals have known for years—Deer Creek is heavily used by bears, lynx, moose, elk and dozens of other species as primary habitat and as a forested corridor connecting the Mission Mountains and Clearwater River Valley,” said Jay Kolbe, FWP wildlife biologist. 

“These lands provide clean drinking water, places for people to enjoy the outdoors, and unrivaled wildlife habitat,” said FVLT Manager Lewis Kogan. “Protecting these lands is a great outcome for the Seeley Lake community.” 

In addition to FVLT, FWP and RMEF funding, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, local government agencies, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust, and several foundations also provided financial backing.


Quake hits near Seeley Lake

USGS map shows quake's epicenter NE of Seeley Lake(SEELEY LAKE)- A relatively strong quake rumbled underneath the Bob Marshall Wilderness late Sunday night. 

According to the initial computer-generated data, the quake measured a magnitude 3.2 and was centered between Alloy and Black Mountain, which is 21-miles northeast of Seeley Lake. That’s along the headwaters of the South Fork of the Flathead in a very remote area.

The quake happened just a few minutes after 10 p.m. and was quite deep, just over 9-miles beneath the surface of the Earth.

A handful of people reported to the U.S. Geological Survey that they had felt the quake in the Seeley Lake area, with another report coming in from Ovando, which is about 24-miles from the epicenter.

The quake was the first sizable quake in Western Montana since last winter. 


Families gather to mourn toddler who died in stream

photo from LAKE)- Family members gathered Saturday afternoon to mourn the loss of a 2-year old girl who drowned after falling into a creek last week. 

Pearl Butler died last Friday when the toddler fell into the creek near Seeley Lake and couldn't be revived. 

KPAX TV reports memorial services for the little girl were being held Saturday afternoon, with her family remembering Pearl's energy, spirit and love for life. 

The Seeley Lake Community has come together to help raise money for the family to help them with their expenses resulting from the tragedy, with donation jars and fund raising over the past week.