Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

(a) It shall be unlawful:

(1) To, with intent to damage, start, cause, or procure another to start or cause a fire in any woodlands, brush, field, or other lands that are not ones own and without the permission of the owner or the lessee having control of such property;

(2) To burn any brush, field, forest land, campfire, or debris, whether on ones own land or the lands of another, without taking the necessary precautions before, during, and after the fire to prevent the escape of such fire onto the lands of another. The escape of such fire shall be prima-facie evidence that necessary precautions were not taken;

(3) For any person to cause a fire by discarding any lighted cigarette, cigar, debris, or any other flaming or smoldering material that may cause a forest fire; or

(4) To destroy or damage any material or device used in the detection or suppression of wildfires.

(b) This Code section shall not apply to fire resulting from the operation of transportation machinery or equipment used in its normal or accustomed manner.

(c)(1) Any person who violates paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(2) Any person who violates paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of arson of lands in the third degree and shall be punished the same as provided by subsection (c) of Code Section 16-7-62 for arson in the third degree.

(3) Any person whose violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section results in a fire that burns more than five acres that are not ones own shall be guilty of arson of lands in the second degree and shall be punished the same as provided by subsection (c) of Code Section 16-7-61 for arson in the second degree.

(4) Any person who violates paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section under such circumstances that it was reasonably foreseeable that human life might be endangered shall be guilty of arson of lands in the first degree and shall be punished the same as provided by subsection (c) of Code Section 16-7-60 for arson in the first degree.