Burning Man attendees were advised to “shelter in place” and conserve food and water on Friday due to ongoing heavy rain in northwestern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
As of Friday evening, movement in and out of Black Rock City has been halted. The gate and airport have also been closed, according to organizers.
Burning Man is an event of self-expression that culminates in the torching of a 40-foot effigy. The practice originated with the burning of an 8-foot wooden “man” in 1986 on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, which evolved into an annual event in Black Rock Desert.
Driving in Black Rock City is prohibited except for emergency vehicles.
“Stay prepared for adverse weather conditions continuing through the night and into Saturday,” the organizers tweeted Friday.
Heavy rainfall affected the state Friday with the threat of flash floods looming over eastern, north central, northeast and south central Nevada, according to the National Weather Service.
“Flash flooding threat increasing for the Labor Day holiday weekend as a slow moving upper trough taps into tropical/monsoonal moisture,” the agency said in a Saturday morning update. “This will fuel multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms bringing heavy rainfall to northern and central Nevada.”
The flash flood watch will remain in effect for the region through Monday morning.
Overnight, Black Rock City received around 0.6 to 0.8 an inch of rain, according to a Saturday morning update from organizers.
“The low pressure system responsible for yesterday’s rain has shifted west, leaving us with partly sunny skies and light winds today. However, rain returns early Sunday morning and continues through the afternoon as the low pressure system moves eastward across Black Rock City and exits the region,” according to the update.
“If you are in BRC, conserve food, water and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space,” organizers continued to warn Saturday.
It’s not clear how many people attended this year’s festivities, but tens of thousands usually gather in Black Rock Desert annually for the event, according to Burningman.org.
The event began Aug. 27 and is expected to run through Sept. 4.