Oregon’s chief firefighter resigned Saturday as forest fires continued to rage there and in other western states.
Marshal Jim Walker filed a resignation letter to the Oregon State Police superintendent after he was put on paid administrative leave, FOX 12 Oregon reported.
No reason for Walker’s departure was officially announced, but sources say State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton had lost confidence in Walker’s ability to deal with the state’s forest fire crisis, OregonLive.com reported.
Vice-Chair Mariana Ruiz-Temple has been named the state’s new fire department. Before Walker was given leave, the job of managing the state̵
OREGON PREPARES WILDFIRES TO BE “MASS FATALITY EVENT” OFFICIALLY SAYS
“Mariana has led with grace, transparency and courage,” said Governor Kate Brown in a statement. “She embodies the experience Oregon needs to face this crisis right now.”
Hampton also issued a statement of support for Ruiz-Temple.
“Mariana holds this position because Oregon is in an unprecedented crisis that requires an urgent response,” he said, according to OregonLive.com.
“This reaction and the circumstances called for a change in leadership. I have absolute confidence in Mariana to lead OSFM [Office of the State Fire Marshal] Operations through this critical time. It is tested, trustworthy and respected – with the rare combination of technical aptitude for 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 metropolitan area in Marion County and Clackamas County, FOX reported 12.
Oregon is one of seven western states to receive federal government assistance in fighting forest fire damage. The others are California, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.