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Burning Man Attendees Urged To Conserve Resources After Getting Stranded In Nevada Desert


Thousands of Burning Man attendees urged to conserve resources after getting stranded in Nevada desert. This information was passed on by the festival organizers that food, water, and fuel should be conserved as they remain stuck in the Black Rock Desert. This decision comes after a heavy rainstorm swept through the area, causing significant disruptions.

The inclement weather has left attendees dealing with a transformed landscape, with their campsites submerged in ankle-deep mud. In response to the challenging conditions, organizers have temporarily suspended vehicular traffic to and from the festival grounds. As a result, some participants have embarked on long hikes to reach main roads, while others are hoping that overnight storms, as forecasted, won't exacerbate the situation.

Hannah Burhorn, a first-time festival attendee, described the desert terrain as having transitioned into a thick clay surface, with puddles and mud abound. To navigate the mucky landscape, some individuals have resorted to wrapping trash bags and Ziploc bags around their footwear, while others have opted to go barefoot.

It's unavoidable at this point. It's in the bed of the truck, inside the truck. People who have tried to bike through it and have gotten stuck because it's about ankle deep.- Hannah Burhorn

The entrance gate and airport access to Black Rock City, a remote locale situated in northwest Nevada, remain closed, and all vehicular traffic in and out of the city is restricted, except for emergency vehicles, as announced by the organizers on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/burning-man-attendees-urged-to-conserve-resources-after-getting-stranded-in-nevada-desert/ by Cecilia Jones on 2023-09-03T14:04:18.930Z

"Do not travel to Black Rock City! Access to the city is closed for the remainder of the event, and you will be turned around," one statement read.

Annually, over 70,000 individuals partake in the weeklong event, scheduled this year from August 28 to September 4. The exact number of those affected by the adverse weather conditions remains uncertain.

A view of the Burning Man campsite covered in thick mud
A view of the Burning Man campsite covered in thick mud

Organizers have indicated in a weather update that the city anticipates further showers overnight on Saturday. According to the National Weather Service, showers and thunderstorms are projected to return on Saturday evening and persist through Sunday, with temperatures ranging from daytime highs in the 70s to a nighttime low of 49 degrees. As Labor Day approaches on Monday, which marks the event's conclusion, forecasts indicate a warming trend and drying conditions, with clear skies and a high of 75 degrees.

Based on rainfall data from the National Weather Service, the area experienced approximately 0.8 inches of rain from Friday morning to Saturday morning. This amount is roughly equivalent to two to three months' worth of rainfall for the region during this time of the year. Even relatively small amounts of rainfall can lead to flooding in the typically arid Nevada desert.

Flood watches have been activated in northeast Nevada, east of Black Rock City. These watches have highlighted that individual storms have been producing up to one inch of rainfall, but there's the potential for higher accumulations, reaching as much as 3 inches, throughout the weekend.

The Bureau of Land Management, the governing authority responsible for the land hosting the festival, is issuing advice to those en route to Burning Man, recommending that they "turn around and head home." This guidance comes in light of ongoing road closures in the vicinity, as reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

"Rain over the last 24 hours has created a situation that required a full stop of vehicle movement on the playa. More rain is expected over the next few days and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa," the statement read.

The festival, originating in 1986, takes place annually in Black Rock City, a temporary urban center constructed specifically for the event. This city boasts comprehensive planning services and essential infrastructure for emergencies, safety, and sanitation.

Its most renowned aspect is the climactic burning of a colossal wooden effigy, drawing in tens of thousands of participants each year. Over time, notable figures such as Sean "Diddy" Combs and Katy Perry have graced the event with their presence.

To reach the festival, the vast multitude of attendees travel along a two-lane highway, as outlined on its website. The festival faced cancellations in both 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burning Man participants enthusiastically invest their time in creating art and fostering a sense of community. They engage in a wide array of activities, from fire spinning and pole dancing to crafting shrink art jewelry and collaboratively constructing and eventually burning down elaborate sculptures. Preparations for this year's Burning Man encountered disruptions caused by tropical storm Hilary in August, marked by strong winds, rainfall, and even desert flooding.

A sky view of the Burning Man festival
A sky view of the Burning Man festival

Burning Man Attendees Hike Through Desert Mud

Amar Singh Duggal and his friends successfully exited the festival by trekking around 2 miles through the muddy terrain. This journey took them approximately 2 hours until they reached a main road. They then arranged transportation to Reno, which is roughly 120 miles to the southwest of the event grounds.

Their decision to depart was influenced by the unrelenting rain on Friday night, prompting them to prearrange a driver for the next morning. Their concerns revolved around the potential for essential services like toilets to stop working and the possibility of food shortages.

We made it, but it was pure hell [walking] through the mud. Each step felt like we were walking with two big cinderblocks on our feet.- Amar Singh Duggal

Amber Kramer, a resident of Kings Beach, California, mentioned that she is staying in an RV with her group and expressed contentment, stating, "I feel fine as long as we have food and water."

"My camp and I are on the roof [of the RV] trying to make the best of it," Kramer said. She expressed worry for those who are accommodated in tents due to the forecast indicating further rain in the area.

People with RVs have been asked by camp leaders if they have room for people with tents because they are expecting another storm.- Amber Kramer

Kramer noted that she's witnessed numerous individuals navigating the camp by affixing garbage bags to their feet using duct tape to cope with the muddy conditions. Meanwhile, Burhorn, who journeyed from San Francisco, California, described the mud as so thick that it clings to your shoes, forming an additional layer that makes movement even more challenging.

Both attendees emphasized their lack of preparedness for rain, as they had anticipated extreme heat. Additionally, Burhorn pointed out the significant communication challenges faced by those stranded in the desert, given the limited cell service, making it nearly impossible to access weather updates or receive information from festival organizers.

"It’s all been completely word of mouth," she said. "I just talked to my boyfriend on the phone who gave me a weather update. I was like, 'can you tell me what’s going on in the news? We have no clue.'"

Burhorn found a silver lining in the situation, highlighting how individuals are going from one camp to another to ensure everyone has sufficient food and water. She emphasized the strong sense of community and care that persists among the attendees, describing it as a "bubble of love."

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Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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