Fire chief to city administrator

Ashland, Ore. —  Ashland’s fire chief is making his transition from the fire department to city administration. Wednesday is Chief John Karns last day at the Ashland Fire Department.

Thursday, he will begin his new role as interim city administrator of Ashland. Following Dave Kanner’s departure, the Ashland mayor asked Karns if he’d like the interim position, and after 7 1/2 years as fire chief, he just couldn’t refuse.

“Ashland’s been very important to me. They’ve given me a lot in my career. It was an opportunity to maybe pay back a little bit,” Chief John Karns said.

Karns will start his new role on Thursday. Deputy Chief Shepard will take his place as Ashland’s fire chief.

NBC-5 asked Karns if he’s already considered his next move, following his interim term. He said he’ll weigh his options when the time comes – but retirement is on the table.

NBC5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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