Southern California

4 to Watch: Lookout Towers Still Have a Crucial Role in Stopping Wildfires

A look at today's stories to watch

Take a look at four stories to watch today, including what to expect in the morning sky over Southern California when a SpaceX rocket blasts off tomorrow and the key part decades-old lookout towers still play when it comes to getting a jump on wildfires in the U.S. West.

1. Counting Down Liftoff From the SoCal Coast

SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket early Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base with a 10-satellite payload, and it should be visible to many in Southern California. Click here for details and what to expect in the morning sky.

[NATL-la gallery] Photos: Stunning SpaceX Rocket Launch as Seen From Around Southern California

2. Patience, Vigilence and a Good View Still Keys to Stopping Wildfires

Some were built in the early 1900s, but lookout towers are still a crucial part of front-line defense against wildfires in the U.S. West. Click here for a view from one of the 400 remaining towers.

[NATL-LA GALLERY] PHOTOS: The View From a Wildfire Lookout Tower, Inside and Out

3. 'Heartbreaking': Shootout Victim Was Struck by Round Fired by Officer

The bullet that killed a Trader Joe's store manager in an exchange of gunfire with a homicide suspect following a pursuit crash Saturday was fired by a Los Angeles Police Department officer, police said Tuesday morning. Click here for details and video from the dramatic pursuit before the shootout.

PHOTOS: Armed Suspect Takes Hostages in Silver Lake Trader Joe's

4. Shave the Date: Beard Battle LA is Coming in August

Put down the razor, and let the 'stache run wild. Whether natural or coiffed, join the third-annual Beard Battle in Highland Park on Aug. 5. See what it takes to compete.

[LA GALLERY] Bearded Fellas Battle It Out for Best in 'Stache

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