The Georgia Forestry Commission is warning landowners to beware of an internet scam purporting to issue burn permits. The only way to secure a legal burn permit in Georgia is to get one online at GaTrees.org, by calling 1-877-OK2-BURN or by contacting a local office of the GFC. In some cases, a burn permit may need to be obtained from local county or city officials or offices, based on local ordinances.
“Law Enforcement has informed us that a rogue website is offering nationwide burn permits for a $19 fee,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams. “Interested buyers are prompted to enter personal information and credit card payments. Remember, authentic Georgia burn permits from the Georgia Forestry Commission are free and are only available through the Georgia Forestry Commission,” Williams said.
This scam was created outside the United States and was used similarly last year against the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, when fake fishing and hunting licenses were being offered. A “burn permit” Google search returns an advertisement for the bogus site in its results, and the site offers bogus burn permits it claims can be used nationwide. This is not true. Law enforcement agencies are working to have the imposter site ads removed from the Google search tool. However, the GFC is urging caution when searching for burn permit information, and emphasizes Georgia burn permits may only be obtained online at GaTrees.org, by calling 1-877-OK2-BURN (652-2876), or by calling the local GFC county unit.