Authorities in Nevada are looking into a death that occurred during the Burning Man festival, where thousands of visitors were trapped due to stormy a weather..
According to KNSD-TV, the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office stated that the death occurred during the event but provided little further details, including the victim’s identity.
In Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, where the yearly event is held, about an inch of precipitation resulted in mudbath-like conditions.
The Burning Man Organization announced that entrance into and out of the site is closed for the duration of the event through a post on X (formerly Twitter). Only emergency vehicles are permitted to pass, according to the organization’s statement.
“Conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space,” the statement urged those stuck in the desert.
In a later statement, the festival added: “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 done table-top drills for events like this. We are engaged full-time on all aspects of safety and looking ahead to our Exodus as our next priority.”
They promised to remove mobile cell trailers, launch the internet, and make an effort to assist with buses leaving the region. The second statement said, “Get some sleep and enjoy some quality time with your campmates.” It will just take time, but we can all get out of this.
In a YouTube video, Bobby White, the host of the TV show Sailing Doodles, who was there, trudged through the muck against a backdrop of drizzly tents and gunmetal skies.
“Every time you step, you pick up more mud and it’s just really hard to move,” White said. “There is absolutely no way you could move a vehicle through this right now.”
Josh Lease, an event volunteer, said attitudes on the ground are still positive. In the genuine Burning Man spirit, he claimed, people are helping one another out and playing loud music while passing around warm garments and phone chargers when they can.
“It’s like any other Burning Man, just muddy,” he told NPR.
Some art installation fires, including the customary burning of the namesake wooden-man effigy, which usually takes place on Saturday night, have been delayed due to the weather.
In order to stay informed about the situation and provide support as needed, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office stated it is collaborating with the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management, a federal agency that patrols and grants permission for the event.
At this year’s festival, the entrance has been barred previously.
When a group of climate protesters parked a 28-foot trailer in the path at the beginning of the event, the result was miles of gridlock.
The weekend is predicted to bring more rain.
“I think we’re stuck here for another three or four days before we can get off this playa,” White said. “Maybe longer.”