STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — People like Danielle Fowler chose to live at the base of Sauratown Mountain for the space and quiet connection to nature. It’s a mountain with history, and now that history is burning in Fowler’s front yard.
“It’s right there. Usually, you can see a house through those trees, and now you just see smoke,” said Fowler as she pointed to an area just beyond her property.
Fowler and her family moved to their house on Cliff View Drive five years ago.
“We really enjoy hiking up the mountain,” Fowler said. “My husband loves the outdoors and anything related to that, so we’ll take the kids up there and have a picnic.”
Now, she’s afraid she could lose everything.
“[The fire] is moving so quick … My children’s lives matter more than stuff, but this is our home. I don’t want to see anything happen to it,” Fowler said.
She’s one of dozens of people living at the base of the mountain who have not been evacuated but are scared it could happen at any moment.
FOX8 also spoke to Ethan Butler. He lives on the other side of the mountain just below Mountain Top Youth Camp.
“We’re packing our stuff up and putting it in the camper and just getting some of our valuables out that might not be covered,” Butler said.
He’s lived in the home for 22 years and wants to protect the memories inside.
“It’s really scary trying to fight away the fire from a lot of memories and family land, sentimental values,” Butler said.
People who don’t live near the fire feel the weight of the destruction as well.
Abby White works at the View Cafe with large open windows looking directly at Pilot Mountain and Sauratown Mountain.
“I woke up with ash on my car … I thought it was pollen, but I swiped my finger on it, and it was dirt,” White said.
Firefighters say rain in the forecast for Tuesday could help, but they have a long road ahead of them.
“There’s a lot of land up there being destroyed by the fire, and it’s beautiful, and it’s going to take a while for it to go back,” White said.