COOL front brings relief from triple-digit heat to Oklahoma on Friday

Saturday, July 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A cool front brought relief from triple-digit heat to Oklahoma on Friday, with parts of the state seeing temperatures more than 20 degrees cooler.

Cloudy skies and a northeast wind held temperatures down into the 70s and 80s in northern, central and eastern Oklahoma. Oklahoma City's high reached 83 degrees, 24 degrees cooler than the record-tying 107 degrees reached on Thursday. Tulsa also topped out at 83 degrees after reaching 101 degrees on Thursday.

Only southern sections of the state had daytime highs in the 90s and low 100s, with Waurika hitting 100 degrees. In contrast, the high in Westville in east-central Oklahoma was 76 degrees.

The cooler temperatures helped firefighters in Dewey County with a grass fire they battled in 100-plus degree temperatures for two days.

``Mother Nature helped us with the humidity coming,'' Vici Fire Chief David Trimble said. ``It was exactly what we needed.''

The fire started Wednesday evening when a car had engine trouble. It burned more than 2,560 acres of grassland near Webb, Trimble said.

Taloga and Leedey fire departments were monitoring what remained of the fire Friday. Eight departments from Oklahoma and Texas helped battle the blaze.

``It will probably be another day watching it,'' Trimble said.

The fire destroyed one old barn and killed several head of cattle, Trimble said.

``Everything we had was down there until last night (Thursday) about midnight,'' he said.

The National Weather Service called for partly cloudy skies on Saturday with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in western and central Oklahoma lingering through the weekend. Highs should remain in the 80s and low 90s.

Forecasters expected the 90s and 100s to return next week.