Thousands at Burning Man told to conserve water, food after flooding leaves them confined in desert

ByEmma Tucker, CNNWire
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Burning Man festivalgoers urged to shelter in place due to flooding
Thousands of people attending the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert are being told to conserve food and water as they shelter in place.

Tens of thousands of people attending the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert are being told to conserve food, water and fuel as they shelter in place in the Black Rock Desert after a heavy rainstorm pummeled the area, festival organizers said.

The gate and airport into Black Rock City, a remote area in northwest Nevada, remain closed and no driving is allowed into or out of the city except for emergency vehicles, the organizers said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

"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.

The city is expecting more showers overnight on Saturday, organizers said in a weather forecast update. Rain and thunderstorms are expected to return early Sunday morning and continue through the afternoon "as the low pressure system moves eastward across Black Rock City," the update said.

Burning Man
This satellite view shows an overview of the 2023 Burning Man festival, in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, on Aug. 28, 2023.
Maxar Technologies/Reuters

The festival, which began in 1986, is held each summer in Black Rock City - a temporary metropolis that is erected annually for the festival.

It is best known for its concluding event, in which a large wooden symbol of a man is ignited. The event attracts tens of thousands each year and in the past, celebrities from Sean "Diddy" Combs to Katy Perry have attended.

More than 60,000 people travel to and from the city along a two-lane highway every year to attend the festival, according to its website. The festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Burning Man participants dedicate their time to making art and building community. They can learn how to spin fire, or to pole dance, to make shrink art jewelry or build a giant sculpture of two people embracing and burn it down.

Some on-site preparations for this year's Burning Man were impacted by tropical storm Hilary in August, with high winds, rainfall and even flooding reported in the desert, CNN reported

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