Thousands Stranded at Burning Man

( – The Burning Man art festival typically runs for several days, once a year, and ends with the burning of a giant effigy, thus the festival’s name. Tens of thousands of people gather in the desert about a hundred miles north of Reno, Nevada. No nearby accommodations or services are available for many miles. The flat desert landscape is transformed into a temporary festival once a year. This year in addition to avant-garde art and music performances, torrential rainfall turned the clay desert into severe muddy conditions.

Thousands of people have been stranded in the desert and have been advised to ration their water and food as it is unclear when they may be able to leave safely. The burning of the effigy was canceled and then rescheduled. DJ Diplo and comedian Chris Rock were able to hitch a ride on a truck to the highway. Still, most people will be stranded in the desert until conditions improve or festival organizers can facilitate the departure of thousands of people and vehicles.

The festival grounds were hit with over a half inch of rain, and many spectators explained that the mud was not just dirt. It’s like sticky clay, which feels like wet concrete and dries hard. The ruts in the roadway leading out of the festival area have been damaged and will need some correction before the mass exodus, which typically happens at the end of the festival. The normal departure of everyone under perfect conditions takes hours, and with the addition of mud and rain, many vehicles will struggle, and the departure of many people will be delayed by several days.

There has been one death, but it is not due to the inclement weather conditions.

Copyright 2023,