Don't get us wrong, we're thrilled to the bone that Queens of the Stone Age is back with a sweet new single!! We're more than happy to go with the flow!! The last time those Southern California rockers pushed out a new album, Justin Bieber was only 13!
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A flow of damp air from the Pacific Ocean helped firefighters in their battle against a huge wildfire burning through coastal mountains in Southern California.
Fire crews on Saturday worked to create miles of containment lines as the high winds and hot, dry air of recent days were replaced by the normal Pacific air, significantly reducing fire activity.
The 43-square-mile blaze at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains was 56 percent surrounded. The progress made led authorities to lift evacuation orders for residences in several areas.
“The fire isn’t really running and gunning,” said Tom Kruschke, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman.
The humidity level rose so much that an overnight effort to burn away fuel at one section of the fire did not work well, Kruschke said.
There was more good news for Sunday. The National Weather Service said an approaching low pressure system would bring a 20 percent chance of showers in the afternoon, with the likelihood increasing into the night and on Monday.
“Anything we get is going to help us,” Kruschke said.
Nearly 2,000 firefighters using engines, bulldozers and aircraft worked to corral the blaze.
Firefighting efforts were focused on the fire’s east side, rugged canyons that are a mix of public and private lands, Kruschke said.
The change in the weather was also expected to bring gusty winds to some parts of Southern California, but well away from the fire area.
Despite its size and speed of growth, the fire that broke out Thursday and quickly moved through neighborhoods of Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks has caused damage to just 15 homes, though it has threatened thousands.
The fire also swept through Point Mugu State Park, a hiking and camping area that sprawls between those communities and the ocean. Park district Superintendent Craig Sap told the Ventura County Star that two old, unused ranch-style homes in the backcountry burned. Restrooms and campgrounds also were damaged. Sap estimated repairs would cost $225,000.
The only injuries as of Saturday were a civilian and a firefighter involved in a traffic accident away from the fire.
Residents were grateful so many homes were spared.
“It came pretty close. All of these houses — these firemen did a tremendous job. Very, very thankful for them,” Shayne Poindexter said. Flames came within 30 feet of the house he was building.
On Friday, the wildfire reached the ocean, jumped Pacific Coast Highway and burned a Navy base rifle range on the beach at Point Mugu. When winds reversed direction from offshore to onshore, the fire stormed back up canyons toward inland neighborhoods.
The blaze is one of more than 680 wildfires in the state so far this year — about 200 more than average.
East of Los Angeles in Riverside County, a new fire that broke out Saturday afternoon burned 650 acres of wilderness south of Banning. It was 20 percent contained. Banning has been flanked by a nearly 5-square-mile fire to the north which destroyed one home shortly after it broke out Wednesday. That fire was fully contained late Saturday.
In Northern California, a fire that has blackened more than 10 square miles of wilderness in Tehama County was a threat to 10 unoccupied summer homes near the community of Butte Meadows, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Thunderstorms Saturday were expected to bring erratic winds but little rain to the area about 200 miles north of San Francisco.
Nearly 1,300 firefighters were on the lines and the blaze, which started Wednesday, was 20 percent contained.
A wildfire fanned by gusty Santa Ana winds raged along the fringes of Southern California communities on Thursday, forcing the evacuation of homes and a university while setting recreational vehicles ablaze.
The blaze erupted during morning rush hour along U.S. 101 in the Camarillo area about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It was quickly spread by the winds, which also pushed other damaging blazes across the region.
Flames quickly moved down slopes toward subdivisions, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. More than 6,500 acres — some 10 square miles — were charred, and the fire was about 10 percent contained.
“We know the fire is bigger than that, but it’s in some difficult terrain so it’s hard to know,” said fire spokesman Bill Nash.
A cluster of RVs in a parking lot was destroyed as flames moved close to a mobile home park.
There were no reports of homes burning, and no firefighter injuries were reported.
Fire officials said Thursday afternoon that a hazardous materials team will deal with a store of highly toxic pesticides that caught fire at a Laguna Farms property, according the Ventura County Star. Area residents were warned to stay out of the smoke as much as possible.
Evacuations orders were lifted in some neighborhoods Thursday evening, including the smoke-choked campus of California State University, Channel Islands, which has about 5,000 students. But the danger was far from over.
“The weather is mitigating a little bit, so we’re taking every opportunity to improve our lines, but we’re not off the hook,” Nash said. “Tomorrow we expect the Santa Ana winds to quiet down, but it’s still expected to be quite warm.”
A more complete damage assessment will be done Friday, Nash said.
More than 925 firefighters and law enforcement officials from multiple agencies worked to protect homes around Camarillo Springs Golf Course and in a section of adjacent Thousand Oaks.
Air tankers were grounded for a time in the afternoon because of the winds, which gusted to 50 mph. Planes and helicopters dropped water and retardant until sunset.
The Santa Ana winds sent plumes of smoke and embers over the homes and strawberry fields to the south. At midday, farm sheds burst into flames in a clearing amid rows of crops.
The vegetation-withering dry winds out of the northeast caused humidity levels to plunge from 80 percent to single digits in less than an hour. Temperatures soared into the 90s in Camarillo.
The area is at the western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, which abruptly descend to a coastal agricultural plain. It was possible the flames could burn all the way to the Pacific Ocean, about 10 miles from the start point.
For a while, the California Highway Patrol closed a 10-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway at Point Mugu. It was reopened at midafternoon around the time coastal weather stations recorded a localized return of moisture-bearing winds off the ocean, although hot Santa Anas kept blowing a few miles inland.
Mark Brewer, 52, was resting at an evacuation center Thursday afternoon after he and about 25 adults and children were evacuated from a county-run homeless shelter. Brewer could see flames coming down a hillside toward the building before he left.
“This is a part of being in Southern California, just like earthquakes,” Brewer said.
Brewer, who lost his job in the mortgage industry a year and a half ago, managed to grab his laptop, some clothes and papers from the room he lives in before traveling to a Camarillo church, where evacuees were glued to televisions watching fire coverage.
About 100 miles to the east, two homes, a number of outbuildings and several vehicles were destroyed, and two other homes were damaged in a 5-acre grass fire that prompted the evacuation of an elementary school in Jurupa Valley, said Theresa Williams, a spokeswoman for CalFire.
The blazes could signal a difficult fire season ahead.
Officials with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said Wednesday in their first 2013 summer outlook that a dry winter and expected warming trend mean the potential for significant fire activity will be above normal on the West Coast, in the Southwest and portions of Idaho and Montana.
Meanwhile, the California Department of Water Resources found the water content in the snowpack was just 17 percent of normal. The snowmelt is a vital water source for the state.
Elsewhere in California, crews made progress on a 4 1/2-square-mile fire burning in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains north of Banning, Riverside County fire spokeswoman Jody Hagemann said.
The fire, which burned a home Wednesday, was 40 percent contained with only sporadic flames showing.
In Northern California, a fire in a remote area of brush and timber north of the town of Butte Meadows grew to more than 3 square miles, with 10 percent containment, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. Several fires smaller than 200 acres burned in Sonoma, Glenn and Butte counties.
Firefighters were able to beat back a powerful wildfire that bore down on a dry Southern California city, limiting the damages to a single house and curbing the threat to hundreds more.
But the difficult conditions that helped fuel the 4½ square-mile blaze in Riverside County on Wednesday could be even worse in parts of the state Thursday.
“Today was a transition day,” state fire spokesman Julie Hutchinson said. “Tomorrow is the big wind day”
Winds of 20-30 mph are expected, along with nearly non-existent humidity and an abundance of wildfire fuel.
“The grass, brush and trees are very volatile. They’re ready to burn,” Hutchinson said. “Everything is just very dry. And not just in Southern California, statewide.”
Forecasters said high pressure would send strong winds through Southern California’s passes and canyons and near coastal foothills Thursday.
The fire broke out just after noon about 90 miles east of Los Angeles in the largely undeveloped foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains north of the city of Banning, where hundreds evacuated their homes.
More than 400 firefighters helped by six helicopters and six air tankers turned the orange open flame near the city into sheets of white smoke and had the fire 35 percent contained by nightfall, county fire officials said.
The aircraft were grounded for the night and all evacuations were called off.
But the fire remained large and volatile as it moved away from Banning and toward the nearby communities of Beaumont and Cherry Valley.
The stand from firefighters came too late for Joe Kiener, 53, who lost the house he’d lived in since his mother bought it in the 1970s.
Kiener was home on a lunch break when he stepped outside to check on his barking dog and saw heavy smoke approaching. He took the dog and started to leave just as a deputy arrived to tell him to evacuate, but it wasn’t easy.
“When I left I went around the corner and I got engulfed in a big cloud of smoke,” said Kiener, who could see so little the deputy had to yell to him how to get out.
He got out safely, but the next time he saw the house was in a phone picture sent by his neighbor. The roof was on fire, and he knew it would be destroyed, but he shrugged off the loss.
“My mom passed away a month ago. The day before Easter,” Kiener said. So that was the biggest thing that hurt my heart is losing her. Losing the house is just minimal. We can rebuild.”
In Northern California, firefighters were battling fires fueled by gusty winds in wine country north of San Francisco.
In Sonoma County, a fire north of Calistoga was fifty percent contained after burning 125 acres. Another fire in nearby Napa County was fully contained after burning 75 acres.
In Butte County, a fast-moving blaze called the Panther Fire has burned about half a square mile since it was sparked Wednesday morning, state fire officials said.
State fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the blazes across of California could be an ominous sign.
“Statewide, our fire activity is up over 60 percent of normal,” Berlant said. “It has everything to do with the fact that conditions are so dry, then you add wind, making the perfect conditions for a fire.”
“We’re a bit drier than normal at this time and seeing conditions that we would usually see in June,” Berlant said. “If this is an indicator of what’s to come, then we’re going to be in for a very busy fire season.”
Everyone got stood up at one Southern California high school’s prom. The dance itself was a no-show.
KABC-TV Los Angeles reports (http://bit.ly/18lwRRb ) dozens of tuxedo-clad and corsage-wearing teens from Bloomington High School traveled 40 miles to Santa Anita Park on Saturday, only to discover they hadn’t been told that the date of the big night had changed.
Instead of the enchanting evening they were expecting, students were served chicken strips in a hastily arranged small hall where someone played music from a laptop computer.
The San Bernardino County school’s calendar and the prom invitations listed the event on April 27, but it was slated for May 4.
Principal Ignacio Cabrera says there was miscommunication with event planners.
A semi-formal substitute event is planned for May 18.
Residents of about 200 were forced to evacuate Saturday after a brush fire erupted in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills east of Los Angeles, authorities said.
The fire was sparked by a gardener working the backyard, said Jennifer McLain, a city spokeswoman. Flames spread to the hillside behind the residence, scorching 150 acres.
The fire was not immediately threatening homes, but authorities ordered evacuations as a precaution, fire Chief Chris Donovan told KABC-TV.
The blaze was 50 percent contained and residents were allowed to return home early Sunday.
Donovan said dry, thick brush and the hilly terrain were making the fire difficult to contain.
Helicopters dropped water and firefighters called in two fixed-wing aircraft.
“We got a lot of fire resources protecting homes, but we’re nowhere near out of the woods,” Donovan said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
As the Monrovia fire burned, a four-acre brush fire ignited across town near Interstate 405, forcing the closure of southbound lanes for at least an hour.
An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in a southern Nevada crash early Saturday that killed five members of a California family and injured the suspect and three others.
Jean Soriano of California was booked into the Clark County Detention Center after he was treated and released at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said.
The crash happened at about 3 a.m. on Interstate 15 near the Utah line. The teen’s sport utility vehicle struck a van from behind, causing both vehicles to spin out of control and roll near Mesquite, some 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, investigators said.
Seven family members from Southern California were in the van, and five of them were killed, authorities said. The other two were taken to the Las Vegas medical center in critical condition.
A 23-year-old passenger in the SUV also was treated at the hospital and released.
Soriano is believed to have been returning from a visit with family in Utah to his home in California at the time of the wreck, Hixson said. Authorities didn’t immediately release his hometown or the names or hometowns of the victims.
Some beer bottles were found in the SUV, Hixson said, and troopers performed a blood-alcohol test on Soriano at the hospital. The results won’t be known for a couple of weeks, he said.
Hixson said the crash demonstrates why the Nevada Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies stress the importance of buckling up. Only two of the seven people in the van were wearing seatbelts, he said. Four of the five who were not buckled in were ejected.
“Unfortunately, so many in the van weren’t wearing seatbelts, and some might have survived had they been wearing them,” Hixson told The Associated Press. “We see it so many times where people can survive simply by having a seatbelt on.”
The wreck also shows why the Nevada Highway Patrol and other agencies run frequent public service announcements discouraging drinking and driving, he added.
“We put that message out for a reason — so we don’t have tragedies like this,” Hixson said. “Unfortunately, it takes incidents like this to have people open their eyes. Some people need a reality check to get that message.”
The van was carrying a couple, their children and some aunts and uncles, he said. The only survivors in it were the 40-year-old female driver and a 15-year-old boy. Killed were three men in their 40s, a teenage female and an adult female.
BIEBER-MARCH2013.JPG View full size Justin Bieber performs Friday in Zurich, Switzerland, as part of his problem-plagued Believe Tour. Bieber's neighbor in Southern California has accused the pop singer of battery and making threats during an argument …
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This March 22, 2013 file photo shows Canadian singer Justin Bieber performing on stage in Zurich, Switzerland. Bieber's neighbor in Southern California has accused the pop singer of battery and making threats during an argument. (AP Photo/Keystone …
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A 9-year-old girl crawled out of a mangled SUV, climbed out of a canyon and walked about a mile in the middle of the night to find help after surviving a highway crash that killed her father in Southern California, authorities said.
The 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 200 feet down an embankment along a semi-rural stretch of the Sierra Highway in Acton about 1 a.m. Sunday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Cheyenne Quesada. The vehicle overturned several times.
The girl managed to extricate herself and walk through rugged terrain to a nearby home, but nobody answered the door, the CHP said. Then she hiked up the steep embankment and along the road to a commuter rail station where she flagged down a passing motorist at about 2:30 a.m.
“She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It’s very black out there, very dark,” CHP Sgt. Tom Lackey told KABC-TV. “It’s very steep and it’s brushy and there’s also coyotes in the background.”
Responding officers found a man in his 30s had been killed, Quesada said. His name was not released but officials said he was from Los Angeles.
A helicopter transported the girl to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She was treated for minor injuries including bumps and bruises and a cut on her face.
Television footage showed crews extricating the severely damaged black SUV from the canyon.
The CHP is investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash.