Arson and other uncontrolled wildland fires pose a serious threat to lives, property, and natural resources in rural and suburban communities. Conditions are particularly hazardous in the wildland urban interface (WUI), where structures and other human developments meet, or intermingle, with forests and grasslands. Nationally, the damage associated with wildland arson, acreage and dollar losses, is more than all other causes associated with wildland fires.
Since its inception in 1915, one of the primary missions of TFS has been to enforce all laws pertaining to the protection of forests and woodlands and prosecute violations of those laws. To accomplish this, the TFS Director may appoint up to 25 employees who are commisioned state peace officers licensed and certified by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education to fulfill those duties.
One of the primary roles of a TFS law enforcement (LE) officer is to provide wildfire arson investigation and training as requested by TFS personnel, local fire departments, the State Fire Marshal’s Office or other law enforcement agencies. TFS LE officers work both misdemeanor and felony investigations. The department also maintains an arson hotline to enable reporting of suspected wildland arson.
LE officers also work felony and misdemeanor timber theft cases as well as serving as subject matter experts for other state or local law enforcement units. The agency maintains a Timber Theft Hotline to allow public reporting of suspected timber theft activity.
TFS LE officers also provide:
Arson DogsTimber TheftWildland Arson Hotline