U.S. Mail couriers may travel through snow, rain and “gloom of night” to get the mail into Montana, but they won’t be traveling through the smoke and flames in Seeley Lake this week. Postal Service spokesman Pete Nowacki says the mail has been rerouted.

"Well, we got the evacuation order and because of that we have had to temporarily suspend operations at Seeley Lake and move all of that mail over to Milltown to pick up. We really have no idea how long we will be there. In situations like this we operate based on what the emergency responders tell us."

Yesterday, one mail worker who had not yet been evacuated from home was still at work at the Seeley Lake branch, allowing people in to get Monday’s mail from post office boxes. Things will have to operate differently in Milltown.

"They are not going to be able to access it like they would with a PO box where they can just come in at any time, they will have to come in during regular window hours and ask for the mail and they will have to have a photo ID. In order to protect the mail and our customers, of course, we have to do that."

Those "regular hours" may be difficult for many that work a traditional 9 - 5 shift in Seeley Lake. The Milltown office is only open weekdays between 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-4:30 p.m. and is about 45 minutes away by car.

All of Tuesday’s mail was sent to Milltown, as will all future day’s mail until the evacuation is rescinded.  Nowacki said that Monday’s mail and all older mail still left in PO Boxes at the Post Office in Seeley Lake will remain there.

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