California Public Resources Code
The director shall appoint, in such number and localities as he deems wise, public-spirited citizens to act as voluntary firewardens, who may receive payment for their services from the counties or from private sources. They shall promptly report all fires and take immediate and active steps toward their extinguishment, report any violation of forest fire laws, assist in apprehending and convicting offenders, and perform such other duties as the director may direct. Any United States Forest Service employee within this state, if he accepts the duties and responsibilities of a firewarden, may be appointed a voluntary firewarden, and shall have all the powers given to firewardens by this article.
Such firewardens do not have authority to obligate the state for the payment of any money, unless specifically so authorized by the director.
If a fire patrol for the prevention and suppression of forest fires is maintained by owners of land or by any organization, the director may designate each patrolman as a voluntary firewarden and, for the protection of lands patrolled by him or adjacent to such lands, may give him all the rights and powers of a voluntary firewarden. Voluntary firewardens shall be paid by such owners or organizations or as provided for by Section 4151. Such firewardens do not have authority to obligate the state for the payment of any money, unless specifically so authorized by the director.
The department or its duly authorized agent may summon any able-bodied person to assist in suppressing any forest fire and may authorize any officer of the state, who is charged with the prevention and suppression of fire or the enforcement of the state fire laws, to summon any able-bodied person to assist in suppressing any forest fire within their respective jurisdictions. An able-bodied person who is engaged in the harvest of perishable agricultural crops shall not, however, be summoned to assist in suppressing any forest fire until all other available workpower has been exhausted within the respective jurisdiction of the officer issuing such summons. No member in good standing of any regularly organized fire department shall be summoned if he is available and subject to call for duty with a firefighting unit.
Any person who fails to obey a summons which is authorized by Section 4153 is guilty of a violation of this article.
Every person who in obedience to such summons assists in extinguishing any forest fire shall be compensated at the same wage rate, excluding fringe benefits, as state employees performing like services.
(a) The director and employees or classes of employees of the department designated by the director have the powers conferred by law upon peace officers listed in Section 830.2 of the Penal Code, and voluntary firewardens designated by the director have the powers conferred by law upon peace officers listed in Section 830.37 of the Penal Code; provided, however, that the primary duty of the peace officer shall be the enforcement of forest laws and regulations, state and county fire laws and regulations, and the laws relating to explosives as set forth in Part 1 (commencing with Section 12000) of Division 11 of the Health and Safety Code, other than laws the enforcement of which is primarily the responsibility of the State Fire Marshal. Officers, employees, and voluntary firewardens, upon request pursuant to Section 8597 of the Government Code, shall have the full powers and duties of peace officers for all purposes as provided by the Penal Code and are not liable to civil action for trespass committed in the discharge of their duties.
(b) Any peace officer may enforce federal fire laws to the extent that he or she is authorized to do so.
Whenever the director or any of the employees or voluntary firewardens who are designated as peace officers pursuant to Section 4156 arrests any person for a violation of this article or for a violation of any law relating to forest or fire protection which is not a felony, he may immediately release the arrested person from his custody in the manner and under the conditions that are set forth in Section 853.6 of the Penal Code.