Applegate Fire Chief on administrative leave indefinitely

APPLEGATE, Ore.– Applegate Fire is under new management.

Fire Chief Michael McLaughlin is on administrative leave indefinitely.

Operations Chief Chris Wolfard said he will take over for now.

He said he was notified about McLaughlin’s leave on Wednesday.

He said the fire department’s board of directors told him, but didn’t say what happened with McLaughlin.

Wolfard said, “I pick up many of his day to day operations that I have authority to do but none of the higher level stuff that requires higher authority.”

Wolfard said there’s no timeline for McLaughlin’s return.

We spoke with the fire district’s board president Rob Underwood, and he declined to elaborate on why McLaughlin is on leave.

UPDATE: This article has been updated, a previous version said McLaughlin is no longer with the agency. That is incorrect, he is on administrative leave. NBC5 News regrets the error.

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NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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