Police have launched an investigation into the death of one of the people who attended the Burning Man festival in a remote part of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert on Saturday after heavy rains left them stranded in thick mud and told to conserve food, water and fuel. person during the event.
The Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the victim’s family has been notified, but no information was available early Sunday morning as the investigation continues.
Burning Man, which began last Sunday in Black Rock City, was interrupted by heavy rain on Friday night, and organizers directed participants to shelter in place as the rain lashed the area.
More than half an inch of rain fell on the festival site Friday night, organizers said. Although it has held off for most of Saturday, thunderstorms are expected through the evening and into Sunday morning, they said.
Except for emergency services, vehicles are also prohibited around Black Rock City.
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said X platform, Formerly known as Twitter, authorities have closed the entrance to Burning Man for the remainder of the event, which ends Monday.
Festival goers may be stranded for days, organizers said.
“Gates in and out of Black Rock City and airport closed,” organizers said declared Saturday morning. “Entry and exit will be suspended until further notice.”
Black Rock City is a temporary community known as the “Playa” for burning man in the middle of a vast desert every year. The temporary city hosts more than 60,000 people each year and is a three-hour drive from the nearest airport, which is more than 100 miles away in Reno.
videos On social media Burning Man participants are shown wading through flooded fields and thick mud. Portable toilets, RV campsites and people seemed to be cut into the mess. Some tied garbage bags to their shoes.
Burning Man, from the 1980s, is a self-described “social and global cultural movement” based on countercultural principles such as radical self-expression.
The festival is known to attract crowds of people dressed in eclectic outfits and costumes, and has been popularized over the years by a steady stream of celebrity and mogul attendees.
The event features art installations and takes its name from the burning of a giant sculpture of a man.
Tara Sailer, who attended this year’s event, said: Los Angeles Times “Burning Man is fiercely confident and we are put to the test.”
Despite the weather, Burning Man participants say they are prepared and trained for such conditions. The event is “very different than going to a music festival like Coachella,” said Kaz Kamrudin, who attended his sixth “Burn.”
“We have very smart people,” he said in a phone interview Saturday.
People have medical supplies and warm clothing to help keep others safe and dry, he said.
Participants have opened their RV campsites to those staying in tents, which are more vulnerable to water, Mr. Kamruddin said.
This year Burning Man had to contend with many issues. On the opening day of the festival, environmentalists besieged the entrance and staged a baton. NBC News reported.
Incredibly muddy, with water up to their ankles and more rain expected tonight, the participants won’t be able to leave until early next week.
Mr. Kamruddin has already moved his departing flights to next Friday – after initially planning to leave on Sunday.
“It’s very loving, open, sharing, community-giving,” he said. “We are safe. I feel better.”
Colby Edmonds And Emma Bubola Contributed report.