Oregon Fire Marshal Forced To Resign Over Faux Scandal As Forest Fires Decimate State

As more than one million acres of land have gone up in flames across Oregon in the last week, now-former state fire Marshal, Jim Walker, speaks out about how he was forced to resign under pressure after he was trying to do his job by helping a co worker find a lost family member in the fire area. For daring to help find the elderly man, Walker was placed on administrative leave by Oregon State Police superintendent Travis Hampton, who also plans on stepping down later this year.

The Oregonian reports:

The state’s former top fire official was under investigation for misleading Oregon State Police leaders about whether he had authorization to enter a high-risk wildfire zone one night last week to search for human remains, according to a source familiar the situation.

Jim Walker resigned Saturday as state fire marshal — a day after he was placed on paid leave by Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton.

Walker told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Sundaythat he entered the Beachie Creek wildfire area east of Salem on Thursday on behalf of a state employee who was concerned about five people. It turned out that one of the people was the employee’s relative, George Atiyeh, 72.

Atiyeh, the environmentalist credited with saving the pristine Opal Creek landscape from logging, has gone missing since the Beachie Creek fire roared down the Little North Fork of the Santiam River and burned his house to the ground.

No one has seen Atiyeh since before the fire, according to friends and relatives. Walker said he was able to confirm that the four other people that the employee was worried about had survived.

Walker said he obtained “approval” to enter the scene from an incident supervisor.

What is unclear, however, is whether he had authorizationfrom Les Hallman, the incident commander, and whether he was honest with his supervisors when questioned about it, the source told The Oregonian/OregonLive.

Ahh, but could there be a political motive behind this? With Governor Kate Brown (Hillary Jr.) calling the shots, of course there is. The article continues:

Walker’s chief deputy, Mariana Ruiz-Temple, was appointed fire marshal on Saturday.

Sources familiar with the situation said Hampton had concerns about Walker’s leadership even before the Beachie Creek incident. Earlier in the week, Walker had been directed to take command of the state’s fire response instead of delegating those duties to Ruiz-Temple.

“We had a statewide conflagration and Jim would disappear into fire camps and leave the work” for Ruiz-Temple, the source said.

But it was his actions Thursday that appear to have led to his resignation.

State police leadership believed Walker had misused his authority to gain access to the fire scene on a personal mission for another employee, the source said.

That’s right, Brown couldn’t wait to find a way to promote a younger, Hispanic female to state fire Marshal. Because F***ING WHITE MALES! Well-connected bureaucrats complained that Walker was in the field too much with the front line firefighters, and delegating too many tasks to the very same person whom the bureaucrats and politicians have now officially delegated those tasks to.

The missing man, George Atiyeh, is the nephew of former Oregon governor Vic Atiyeh, Oregon’s last Republican governor, who served in the 1980’s.

Walker spoke with KOIN6 news and voiced his concerns over lack of support from the higher ups throughout the whole forest fire debacle. “My take is if I do not have the support from leadership, then it’s not an organization that I feel confident to continue to work for.” Walker still contends that he did the right thing and was merely caring for his workers. He lashed out saying that to be on administrative leave during the biggest fires the state has ever seen “does not make any sense whatsoever.”


Thanks for sharing!