The village of Markstay suffered a major fire in 1928, in which the hotel, the general store and a stable were completely destroyed. The post office and telephone exchange, located in the general store, were also destroyed, disrupting mail and telephone services for the village. The need for a permanent volunteer fire department was initially debated in 1953, and the Township of Hagar Volunteer Fire Department was created in 1963. Initially, the department was equipped with only a pump and hose, but it purchased its first vehicle at the end of 1963. By 1980, the department had a 1,000 gallon tanker, a pumper truck, portable water tanks, two portable pumps as well as two air packs.
The village of Warren suffered a severe fire in 1915 which destroyed much of the original townsite. Many of the village's original buildings, including businesses, the hotel and the first St. Thomas Church were destroyed. The Volunteer Fire Brigade in Warren was organized in 1963. Their first job involved putting out a fire involving the building beside the Globe Hotel. In 1966, property was purchased to construct the first fire hall. A hydro service truck was purchased in 1986 to combat fires. The Ratter and Dunnet Fire Department continued to upgrade its equipment until the municipal restructuring of 1999.
The geographic townships of Awrey and Loughrin operated volunteer fire departments prior to municipal restructuring. With the creation of the Municipality of Markstay-Warren in 1999, the fire departments in the townships of Hagar, Ratter and Dunnet, Awrey, and Loughrin were combined to create the Markstay-Warren Volunteer Fire Department.