Crawford County Man Pleads Guilty to Setting Wildfires

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 3, 2021 A Crawford County man has plead guilty to three counts of arson of lands in the third degree and has been sentenced to 15 years’ probation, $4,500 in fines, plus restitution. Georgia Forestry Commission Law Enforcement Officers charged Matthew DeFore with six counts of arson of lands December 2015, … Continue Reading →

Reflections on the Big Fire of 2007

Fourteen years ago, the Georgia Forestry Commission was leading an intense battle against one of the worst fires in U.S. history. A downed power line sparked the blaze on April 16, 2007, southwest of Waycross. It was named the Sweat Farm Fire, and it consumed 20,000 acres in the first 48 hours alone. By April … Continue Reading →

Southern Pine Beetles

The Southern Pine Beetle (SPB), Dendroctonus frontalis, is not much bigger than an eye gnat (Figure 1). It attacks and kills all species of southern yellow pines in Georgia, including white pines. Trees are killed when beetles construct winding S-shaped egg galleries underneath the bark (Figure 2). These galleries effectively girdle the tree and destroy … Continue Reading →

Pine Bark Beetles

Pine bark beetles are native to Georgia and can have devastating effects on pine trees. Pine bark beetles found throughout Georgia include the southern pine beetle (SPB), the black turpentine beetle (BTB), and three species of Ips engraver beetles, with a fourth found just in northern Georgia. Southern pine beetles can be the most destructive … Continue Reading →

North Georgia Burn Ban Helps Boost Air Quality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 28, 2021 On May 1, a ban on outdoor burning begins in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. Affected residents are asked to refrain from burning yard and land clearing debris during the hot summer months because smoke can negatively impact the state’s air quality by … Continue Reading →

March Tornado Timber Damage Totals Nearly $3 Million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 27, 2021 A new Georgia Forestry Commission report details damage left behind by an EF-4 tornado that tore through Newnan, Georgia, and surrounding areas in late March. The GFC Timber Impact Assessment of the Heard and Coweta Counties’ tornado reports a total of 4,745 acres of timber damaged, with a total … Continue Reading →

Outstanding Employees Honored at Georgia Forestry Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 26, 2021 The Georgia Forestry Commission has named the State Lands Timber Sales group its 2020 Forest Management Team of the Year. Timber Sales is one of 12 GFC teams that guides forest landowners in the growth, health and conservation of Georgia’s valuable forest resources. “Each division in this agency is … Continue Reading →

Think safety before starting a burn.

Weather conditions have been ideal this year for creating a busy prescribed burn season. Landowners across the state are taking advantage of the proper humidity, winds, moisture levels and more to put fire to work reducing fuel levels, enhancing wildlife habitat and aesthetics, preparing for reforestation and accomplishing many other forest management goals. With wet … Continue Reading →

Spring Tree Care

By Seth Hawkins, GFC Urban Forest Specialist Springtime is here and with longer days and warmer temperatures at hand, trees are waking up for the growing season. Trees’ water needs are also waking up, so it’s time to start a watering regime for trees that were recently planted or planted within the last two years. … Continue Reading →

Legislature Marks Forest Agency’s Centennial

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 8, 2021 The Georgia Forestry Commission is marking an important milestone – its 100th year of service to Georgia. Forests make up 24 million acres, or 75 percent, of the State of Georgia, and the Georgia General Assembly recently passed a resolution recognizing the agency for its centennial and its role … Continue Reading →