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Red Wing man helped battle wildfires in Pacific Northwest

SGT Daniel Knapp2.jpg
Sgt. Daniel Knapp

A Red Wing man recently returned from a firefighting mission in the state of Washington.

Daniel Knapp, a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, was one of 10,000 firefighters from around the country working to control 19 separate wildfires that have been raging in the Pacific Northwest. The Minnesota crews battled the North Star and Carpenter fires, which are located just north of Spokane, Wash.

The Red Wing resident was one of 13 from Minnesota deployed, including the only one from the Southeast corner of the state. He spent about a week out west, returning to Red Wing last weekend.

Knapp, who did not return phone calls seeking comment, was part of a helicopter crew that used "Bambi buckets" attached to Chinooks to scoop water and dump it over a fire, according to a statement provided by Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, National Guard's Public Affairs officer.

The Red Wing man has previous firefighting experience in northern Minnesota, including at least one instance where he worked a Bambi bucket deployed from a Blackhawk helicopter in 2011.


The firefighting mission in Washington served as a reunion of sorts. Knapp was reunited with some soldiers from the Washington National Guard aviation unit that served with him in Iraq in 2007 and Kuwait in 2010. They all stayed at the same hotel last week in Colville, Wash.

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