CAL FIRE Law Enforcement BadgeCAL FIRE Law Enforcement Program


The Law Enforcement program is an integral part of the CAL FIRE mission, protecting the State’s natural resources and people of the state of California for over 100 years. In 1887, employees of the Board of Forestry, including their assistants, were endowed with the power of a Peace Officer. During that year, the first Chief of Law Enforcement was appointed solely for the purpose of enforcing forest and fire laws within the State. The responsibility for enforcement of forest and fire laws and fire control passed to the Division of Forestry with the creation of the Department of Natural Resources in 1927.

CAL FIRE is statutorily responsible to enforce forest and fire laws and Forest Practice Regulations within all areas of the state, where they apply pursuant to Public Resources Code (PRC), Section 714.

The Department has been granted the authority to enforce the forest and fire laws, pursuant to PRC 4119, and the Director has been granted the authority to appoint Peace Officers (PRC 4156).

CAL FIRE Peace Officers are trained and certified in accordance with the California commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and attend a rigorous training program. Their authority is provided by Penal Code 830.2(g) and authorizes statewide jurisdiction.

Arson Hotline information 1-800-468-4408Law Enforcement Services

  • Determine wildland fire causes, interview witnesses, conduct extended investigations, issue citations, and arrest suspects to help reduce wildland fires throughout California.

  • Provide prompt and positive enforcement of the Forest Practice Act to conserve and maintain the productivity of timberlands, while preventing or mitigation damage to associated resources.

  • Provide fire and bomb investigation services to state-owned facilities, dispose of explosives, and aid local government fire and law agencies.

  • Pursue civil cost recovery cases where a person is allegedly responsible for the cause of a fire either through willfulness, negligence, or violation of law.

  • Conduct investigations and inspections enforcing PRC violations, but also Health and Safety Code, Welfare and Institutions Code, Government Code, Vehicle Code, Business and Professions Code, and Penal Code violations.

  • Work in partnership with the community and with our cooperators to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security while protecting the natural resources of the State of California.