HOTLINE: 1-800-GA-TREES (428-7337) or: email@example.com
In 1925, the Georgia General Assembly provided for the Georgia Forestry Commission to hire deputy Forest Wardens with arrest authority, to enforce the fire laws of the state. In 1952, the law was amended, referring these law enforcement officers to their current title of Forestry Investigator. Several changes to the law have occurred in the last 100 years, but the primary responsibility of these investigators remained to enforce the fire laws. Until the most recent change to the law in 2014 that authorized forestry investigators to enforce any law relating to the protection, security, conservation, or sale of forest/timber resources.
GFC Forestry Investigators are certified by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council, with full arrest and enforcement authority in the state of Georgia. In addition, they are specially trained to conduct investigations of wildland fires and other forestry related crimes.
Arson is the third leading cause of wildfires in Georgia. To combat Georgia's arson problem and enforce Georgia's forestry burn permit laws, Georgia Forestry Commission employs law enforcement investigators. The investigators have extensive, specialized training in law enforcement and fire investigation. The Law Enforcement Division is headquartered at Georgia Forestry Commission's central office in Dry Branch, Georgia, located south of Macon.
- Arson in the Third Degree
- Prison sentence of 1 - 5 years
- Arson in the Second Degree (> 5 acres burned)
- Maximum prison sentence of 10 years and fines
- Arson in the First Degree (human life endangered)
- Maximum prison sentence of 20 years and fines
Over the last five years, Georgia Forestry Commission Rangers have responded, on average, to more than 700 arson fires per year which burn approximately 9,000 acres.
In 2014, GFC Investigators were authorized by House Bill 790 to enforce laws related to the protection, security, conservation, and sale of forest resources. GFC receives and evaluates complaints concerning timber transactions. Investigators are assigned to complaints where criminal activity is suspected. The priority will always be to protect our landowners and their forest resources by ensuring that credible timber harvest operations occur.
For information on marketing and selling your timber, including contracts, please visit our Timber Selling page.