Officials are hopeful the scenic Niobrara River will be open for business this weekend.
Officials are optimistic they'll be able to contain the massive wildfires in north-central Nebraska soon, and all of the scenic Niobrara River will likely be open to boating and tubing this weekend.
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency spokesman Mike Wight said Thursday morning that the evacuation orders for the small towns of Norden and Meadville were lifted and Highway 12 reopened.
Wight says the fires were about 50 percent contained Wednesday night, and that number may improve when Thursday morning's estimate is released.
The complex of three fires in north-central Nebraska that lightning started last Friday had burned more than 113 square miles of land by Wednesday night. That's almost as big as the state's largest city of Omaha.
Wight says firefighters believe the fires could be contained by Sunday.