The town provides volunteer fire and first responder service, while Nekoosa Ambulance Service provides ambulance service to town residents.
The Big Flats Volunteer Fire Department strongly discourages property owners from outdoor burning and encourages recycling and composting as safe alternatives. A free DNR annual burning permit is required any time the ground is not completely snow covered.
Check the burning restrictions every day you want to burn at dnr.wi.gov
(search keyword "wildfire"). Be aware of conditions. Campfires do not require a burning permit except when emergency forest fire regulations are in effect. It is never allowable to burn rubbish, asphalt shingles, rubber products or plastic of any kind. Permits are available at the DNR station in Friendship or Cats Down the Road in Big Flats.
Big Flats was the site of a devastating wild fire on May 5, 2005. At 1:32 pm Adams County 911 received a call reporting an out of control fire at 972 South Chicago Court. The property owner lit a fire within a fire ring constructed of concrete blocks, attempting to burn off dead grass. Soon after, the fire jumped out of the ring and began burning the grass in the surrounding area. After the fire escaped, it spread in a northeast direction, following a six mile stretch along the east side of Roche A Cri Creek. By the time it was contained 11 hours later, this forest fire burned approximately 3,410 acres of pine forest, and destroyed 30 residences along with 60 out-buildings. About 177 firefighters from 20 fire departments responded, not counting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources firefighters, who came from as far away as Hayward, and two DNR planes used to drop foam, who had to fly in from Minnesota. The property owner was charged with setting a fire which became the biggest forest fire in Wisconsin since 1980.
Watch a video about one Big Flats homeowner’s experience during the Cottonville Fire by going to dnr.wi.gov
and search keyword “wildfire”.