GFC investigators are certified by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. They are specially trained to conduct investigations of wildland fires and other forestry-related crimes.

The Georgia General Assembly passed a law giving GFC the authority to enforce the fire laws of the state nearly 100 years ago. To combat arson and enforce Georgia’s forestry burn permit laws, GFC employs law enforcement investigators. These investigators have extensive, specialized training in fire investigation.

See Something, Say Something

To report criminal forestry activity, timber theft or arson fires, contact GFC investigators:

Arson Hotline
1-(800) GA-TREES (428-7337)


Arson is the third leading cause of wildfires in Georgia.

Over the last five years, GFC rangers have responded, on average, to 259 arson fires per year which burn more than 3,148 acres. To combat arson and enforce Georgia’s forestry burn permit laws, GFC employs law enforcement investigators. The Law Enforcement Department is headquartered at GFC’s central office in Dry Branch, Georgia, located south of Macon.

Those who commit arson face stiff penalties under Georgia law.

Punishments for convicted arsonists include:

  • 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

Helpful Resources

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
Georgia Forestry Laws

GFC is not liable for the distribution of out-of-date material. This document is not legal advice and cannot replace legal advice. Current Georgia Statutes are maintained by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, and can be accessed through their website.

Georgia Prescribed Burn Laws

Prescribed Burn Laws from the Official Code of Georgia, Section 12-6-90 and Sections 12-6-145 through 12-6-149

External Website
House Bill 790

2014 bill authorizing GFC Forestry Investigators to enforce laws related to the protection, security, conservation, and sale of forest resources.

Human Trafficking Information

Important details about reporting cases of human trafficking

Timber Security Law Fact Sheet

Overview of enforceable laws for harvesting of timber and forest resources in the state of Georgia