Burnett County adopted the Rural Addressing Ordinance in 2003. However, the current addressing system has been in place since the late 1980s. The ordinance is applicable to all unincorporated areas. The Villages do their own addressing, but the County maintains the database for all the addresses. The system was established to aid in the rapid location of properties for public safety and emergency services. The system is also used for postal and other delivery purposes. An address is often referred to as a fire number, the same number is used for both purposes.