Oregon’s best employee resigned on Saturday as wildfires continued to rage there in other western states.
Marshall Jim Walker has resigned from the Oregon State Police Chief after he was placed on paid administrative leave, FOX 12 Oregon reported.
The reasons for Walker’s departure have not been officially revealed, but sources said that State Police Chief Travis Hampton has lost confidence in Walker’s ability to deal with the state’s forest fire crisis, OregonLive.com reported.
Chief Deputy Mariana Ruiz-Temple has been appointed the state’s new fire marshal. Before Walker was released, he effectively delegated work on managing the state̵
OREGON PREPARES TO BE A “MASS EVENT OF CONTENT” FOR WILD FIRE, OFFICIALLY SAYS
“Mariana leads with grace, transparency and courage,” Governor Kate Brown said in a statement. “It embodies the experience Oregon needs to deal with this crisis, right now.”
Hampton also issued a statement in support of Ruiz-Temple.
“Mariana is taking this position because Oregon is in an unprecedented crisis that requires an urgent response,” he said, according to OregonLive.com.
“This response and the circumstances necessitated a change of leadership. I have absolute confidence in Mariana to lead OSFM [Office of the State Fire Marshal] operations during this critical time. She has been tested, trusted and respected – she has a rare combination of technical skills in field operations and administration. “
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Forest fires burned 1 million acres in Oregon last week, with two of the largest occurring in the Portland subway, Marion County and Clackamas County, FOX 12 reported.
Oregon is one of seven western states that will receive help from the federal government to deal with forest fire damage. The others are California, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.