Cooler Temps Helping Ease Fire Threat

Meers, OK – Cold front helps calm SW Okla. grass fire

MEERS, Okla. (AP) Authorities are lifting an evacuation order in southwestern Oklahoma after cooler weather brought precipitation and higher humidity that helped calm a grass fire that destroyed 11 homes and forced people to flee many others.

The fire, one of several to scorch thousands of acres in the drought-stricken state, affected more than 30,000 acres since it started Thursday in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Comanche County spokesman Chris Killmer said Sunday the evacuation order was being lifted at 10 a.m. He said one firefighter was taken to the hospital Saturday night with a concussion.

The lingering drought, exacerbated by triple-digit heat, has left grassland, trees and other vegetation dry and susceptible to fires. Crews have been putting out fires and monitoring hot spots for days. A burn ban is in effect.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.