DENVER (AP) — The late-season wildfire that tore through two densely populated Denver suburbs seemed destined to leave a trail of deaths.
Yet, only two people are unaccounted for out of 35,000 forced from their homes.
Disaster experts say it's a remarkably low number of possible casualties, even though an alert system didn't reach everyone and the blaze caught many off-guard.
Several factors favored the evacuees. The fire came during daylight and over the holidays when many were home. Most had access to vehicles.
It also might have helped that the area has emergency management personnel who have worked other recent wildfires.