Sauratown Mountain fire proves difficult to fight


A fire near the Sauratown Mountain ridge line burned for most of the day and in darkness on Tuesday.

Neill Caldwell | Stokes News

Firefighters had to walk for over an hour just to contend with a wildfire along the Sauratown Mountain ridge on Tuesday, burning a hard-to-reach and rugged spot that frustrated efforts to contain it.

A report from Wednesday morning said the fire was no longer considered contained and had doubled in size. Reinforcements of firefighters are called today, including a second helicopter.

The blaze started late Tuesday morning, Stokes County Fire Marshal Scott Aaron said and burned all day, sending thick white smoke into the blue sky.

There was no word yet on how the fire started, but it was limited to three or four acres.

The fire was burning at the western end of the range that runs through central Stokes County, north of King and east of Pinnacle. The houses on Sugar Bush Lane, near Volunteer Road, were the closest residences to the fire, but were not in danger.

The neighboring YMCA Hanes camp has not been threatened.

Five county fire departments were called, with state assistance. Helicopters dropped water on the fire throughout the day and small planes buzzed around the mountain acting as spotters.

The remote terrain and isolated location made it impossible to supply water to the fire in any way other than air drops. The NC Fire Department and the NC Forest Service were involved in the drip-hole efforts. A larger tanker plane was expected Wednesday.

Efforts were halted when the sun set on Tuesday evening, when it is scheduled to resume the battle at dawn on Wednesday.

The Hanging Rock State Park superintendent said he could smell the smoke but had not been asked to help with the fire fight.


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