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Derek Knowles’ home barely missed the inferno that roared through his property one year ago. The tree cleanup has begun. PARK RAPIDS ENTERPRISE/Sarah Smith

After year of rebuilding, scars of wildfire remain

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PARK RAPIDS, Minn. -- “She was a hot one!” Russ Knowles said as he recalled watching a raging wildfire blow past his Wadena County home, taking his garage with it.


Across the road, his son, Derek, had just lost 1,000 Norway pines close to his home.

It was May 14, 2013.

A new steel garage stands on the Russ Knowles property south of Park Rapids. A child’s firetruck sits in Derek Knowles’ front yard, silent testimony to what the area experienced.

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Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
(218) 732-3364