A death has been reported at the rain-soaked Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert amid the shelter-in-place.
The Pershing County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death investigation, but details regarding the victim and the circumstances remain undisclosed, according to KGO. They reportedly confirmed that the family has been notified, and it's an ongoing investigation.
The mud has apparently made it challenging for vehicles to traverse the area, as this deluge, which brought 2 to 3 months' worth of rain in just 24 hours, left the festival grounds submerged in ankle-deep mud.
Organizers also urged against driving because of road conditions, and said only some vehicles with 4WD and all-terrain tires are able to navigate the mud, so it seems the majority of the tens of thousands of people at the festival are still stuck. They also have been deploying mobile cell trailers, configuring Wi-Fi for public access, and arranging buses to transport people to nearby Gerlach and Reno.
It’s unclear when the roads will be passable — Burning Man organizers estimated that “Monday late in the day would be possible if weather conditions are in our favor” in a Saturday night statement. Organizers of the festival also delayed the ceremonial burning of the Man Saturday, hoping that the weather behaves Sunday and the Burn can take place Sunday night.
Portions of Interstate 15 on Saturday along the California-Nevada border which is a major artery for Vegas-bound travelers were closed due to the heavy rains as well, as the LA Times reported.
This death wouldn’t be the first time that someone died at the festival — previous reports include Shane Billingham, 33, in 2019, of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, who tragically ran into the fire as the Man burned in 2017.
Feature image via iStock/Getty Images Plus/DOSerCreative.