Stormy conditions leave thousands stranded at Burning Man Festival

Stormy conditions leave thousands stranded at Burning Man Festival

The blazing sun and blinding dust during the annual Burning Man Festival need the use of protective gear such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Thousands of people were stuck Saturday due to severe overnight rains, so they might have wished they had brought umbrellas and galoshes.

The Black Rock Desert in Nevada, where the yearly event is held, received about an inch of precipitation, turning it into a mud bath.

The Burning Man Organization announced on X (previously Twitter) that the festival location is now closed to visitors. According to a statement released by the group, only emergency vehicles will be permitted through the area.

"Conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space," the statement told anyone stranded in the desert.

After the fact, the festival issued a statement reading, "We have come here knowing this is a place where we bring everything we need to survive... we are all well-prepared for a weather event like this."

We have practiced for this kind of thing on the table. We are focusing all of our energy on ensuring the security of everyone involved in the Exodus.

They said they'd release internet access and bus evacuation aid via mobile cell trailer drops. The later message said, "Get some rest and spend some quality time with your campmates." To paraphrase, "We will all get out of this, it will just take time."

Bobby White, host of the TV show Sailing Doodles, was in attendance and squelched in the mud in a video posted to YouTube, which also featured a backdrop of gunmetal sky and wet tents.

"Every time you step, you pick up more mud, and it's just really hard to move," White added. No vehicle could possibly pass through here at the present time, so don't even try.

Even so, Joshua Lease, a volunteer at the event, reported that morale is strong. He said that, in typical Burning Man fashion, everyone is pitching in to help each other out, with people sharing blankets and phone chargers.

Muddy, but exactly like any other Burning Man, he told NPR.

The burning of the iconic wooden-man effigy, which is usually performed on Saturday night, has been postponed due to the weather.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has stated that it is coordinating with the Pershing County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency responsible for patrolling and permitting the event.

The festival's entry has been closed before this year, so it's not the first time. After putting a 28-foot trailer on the road at the beginning of the event, a group of climate protesters caused miles of gridlock.

We can expect more precipitation this weekend.

White predicted that it would be at least three days before they could leave the playa. As the saying goes, "Maybe longer."