Ozzie Ausband


Salba rides a remnant of the 2003 fires.

Fires ravaged the Highland and San Bernardino areas back in October of 2003. The Angeles National Forest lay blackened and charred. Homes were gutted and families lives destroyed. Ash fell onto the streets as far as Costa Mesa in Orange County. It was like a scene from Schindler’s List. I watched in morbid fascination as fire crews battled around the clock…  for naught. Within a month, we were moving through the area and taking an inventory.

We helped where we could. We were cleaning up the pools. Some of the people didn’t care. Some did. Some never returned and never knew. We would drive into the wasteland and return exhausted, dirty, sweat-soaked and content. In a perverse way, we made good on another’s misery. We didn’t want it that way… it just happened. Lightening strikes. Things burn. Ashes remain. Wasteland. In the month of October in 2003, God looked the other way…

Thanks to George McClellan and MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie