It sounds like they're better organized up there, but I know here when we have wild fires there's really no warning system. If someone comes banging on your door to tell you it's time to go, it could very well be too late. The fires spread so fast and can change direction in a second, and with the hills and trees it can be less than a mile from your house and you not be able to tell it, depending on which direction the wind is blowing the smoke. Then you also have to worry about whether your exit route is still open or not.
The two times I've had to bug out here I didn't have time to do anything but grab my purse and my daily meds from my desk, jump in the truck and go! Luckily, I keep a BOB in the truck at all times, but I didn't have time to grab anything else. There's only one way in and out of here, which is a very rough, rocky gravel road on a hill that requires 4WD in winter and in rainy season.
That article said someone spoke to them 40 minutes prior, and they said they could see a glow "off to the west". They probably thought they had time to get a few more things, but the fire sped up or switched directions, and then it was too late. It's a terrible shame, and I certainly hope no one else dies. I'll be praying for their families.
People talk about how horrible the tornadoes are here, but we have a much better warning system for them than we do for fires. When there are fires in this area, which there are just about every summer, I'm on almost constant watch outside and if I even think it's getting close I head out to my son's 25 miles away. Those two close calls were enough for me. I thought they'd have it on the emergency band scanner or a reverse 911 type warning or something, but there was nothing either of those times.
I still consider Colorado "home" and I'm still heartbroken over the thousands of acres that burned last year and now this. Don't know if I even want to go back and see the ruins.