Since Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber ordered a state government hiring freeze six weeks ago, a committee of top managers has approved more than 1,000 exceptions, mostly for safety reasons.

Since Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber ordered a state government hiring freeze six weeks ago, a committee of top managers has approved more than 1,000 exceptions, mostly for safety reasons.

More than 400 will be seasonal firefighters the Forestry Department plans to hire in May.

The Oregonian reports the committee also allowed the Transportation Department to add snowplow drivers. And the Department of Fish and Wildlife got the OK to hire a technician to keep fish alive at the Big Creek Hatchery. But the Energy Department was denied a request to hire a leader for its policy division.

The committee has denied or delayed about 200 requests. The statewide hiring free is expected to last at least through February.

The state has nearly 33,000 employees, not counting the university system. — Associated Press

Information from: The Oregonian, http:www.oregonlive.com