JUNE 3, 2024

Protecting the state from wildfires is a foundational mission of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Directing the multi-faceted operations of firefighting and fire prevention is a highly specialized job and the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) has named veteran employee Thomas Barrett of Soperton to fill the role. Barrett will take over as Chief of Protection for GFC on July 1, 2024.

“After a thorough national search, it became evident that the ideal leader to fill this position was already part of our family,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “We identified Thomas as the person with all the right qualifications, experience, and personal attributes to lead this critical agency operation.”

Thomas Barrett has an impressive 22-year tenure at the GFC and brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted commitment to the agency’s mission and vision. His journey in forestry began in Soperton, where his familial ties to the GFC inspired his passion for the profession. Barrett pursued his education at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the University of Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management.

Throughout his career at the GFC, Thomas has held various positions, including Forester, Assistant District Manager, Area Fire Management Officer, and Lead Forester. He is a certified prescribed burn manager and a Complex Management Planning Section Chief within the Incident Command System. Beyond his notable resume, Thomas is well respected for his exceptional leadership qualities and unwavering dedication to the GFC and its mission.

Thomas lives on a family tree farm in Soperton with his wife, Alecia, and their three sons. They enjoy outdoor activities and traveling.

For more information and to learn about services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit

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