The Oregon State Police announced Saturday that it has appointed a new state fire marshal.
Mariana Ruiz-Temple is now Oregon’s acting state fire marshal. OSP said former Fire Marshal Jim Walker has been placed on paid administrative leave.
“Mariana is assuming this position as Oregon is in an unprecedented crisis which demands an urgent response,” OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton said in a statement. "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 is tested, trusted and respected — having the rare combination of technical aptitude in field operations and administration.”
Shortly after the announced change, Walker offered to resign his post, and Hampton accepted that resignation, effective immediately.
OSP did not state a reason for the change in leadership. Ruiz-Temple steps into the position as more than 1 million acres in Oregon have burned due to continuing wildfires.
Ruiz-Temple was previously chief deputy state fire marshal.
“Mariana has led with grace, transparency and courage,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “She embodies the experience Oregon needs to face this crisis, in this moment.”
Walker had been the state’s fire marshal since 2014.