SALEM, OR (KPTV) – As firefighters across the state tackle a series of serious wildfires, the Oregon State Fire Marshal has suddenly changed leadership.
Oregon State Police announced Saturday morning that Fire Marshal Jim Walker had been placed on paid administrative leave. OSP had appointed Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple as acting Oregon State Fire Marshal.
By Saturday afternoon, OSP named Ruiz-Temple as Oregon State Fire Marshal after Walker offered his resignation.
Superintendent OSP Travis Hampton released the following statement: “Mariana is assuming this position as Oregon is in an unprecedented crisis which demands an urgent response. This response and the circumstances necessitated a leadership change. I have the absolute confidence in Mariana to lead OSFM operations through this critical time. She it tested, trusted and respected – having the rare combination of technical aptitude in field operations and administration.”
OSP did not say why the change in leadership was made.
Oregon is currently facing a fire season unlike any in recent memory due to the number and size of wildfires currently burning in the state.
In total, wildfires have burned 1 million acres this week in Oregon, according to Oregon Office of Emergency Management on Friday.
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