Under the direction of the commissioner, forest officers are charged with preventing and extinguishing wildfires in their respective districts and the performance of such other duties as may be required by the commissioner. They may arrest without warrant any person found violating any provisions of sections 88.03 to 88.22, take the person before a court of competent jurisdiction in the county charging the person so arrested, and the person so charged shall be arraigned and given a hearing on the complaint. The forest officers shall not be liable in civil action for trespass committed in the discharge of their duties. All authorized state forest officers, fire wardens, conservation officers, smoke chasers, fire supervisors or individuals legally employed as firefighters, may in the performance of their duties of firefighting go onto the property of any person, company, or corporation and in so doing may set backfires, dig or plow trenches, cut timber for clearing fire lines, dig water holes, remove fence wires to provide access to the fire or carry on all other customary activities necessary for the fighting of wildfires without incurring a liability to anyone, except for damages arising out of willful or gross negligence.
Forest officers and all individuals employed as firefighters under this chapter are not subject to the licensing, training, and certification requirements of chapter 299N.