It’s not often that forest supervisors have twitter followers, fan groups, Facebook pages and people urging them to run for president.
But most forest supervisors aren’t Jerri Marr.
As the supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, part of Marr’s job was to update the people of southern Colorado on the status of the Waldo Canyon fire this June.
Her daily TV appearances became a calming presence during the crisis that claimed nearly 350 homes and forced the evacuation of 32,000 residents.
“I’m honored that people think so highly of me,” said Marr, a 27-year veteran of the Forest Service.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Marr began working with the Forest Service right out of high school. “I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do, in the town I’ve always wanted to be in. Few people can say that about their work.”
The fire made her an overnight sensation. Marr’s fans describe her as calm, compassionate, knowledgeable, and humorous without being flippant — and all in the face of the worst wildfire in Colorado history. One mothers group web writer thanked Marr for “the comfort she brought so many, and for being the calm in the storm.”
That calm in the storm has even won Marr awards from journalists, and though no one wants another fire, her sudden celebrity has everyone waiting to see what lies ahead for her.
“I was just doing my job,” she said. “I couldn’t have imagined all that would come out of it.”