For the more than 70,000 attendees stuck at the Burning Man festival in the northern Nevada desert, a break in the weather and drying toxic alkaline lake bed will likely spark an exodus of 'burners' around noon.
Around 1123 ET, Burning Man Traffic posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, "Gate Road remains too wet & muddy for most vehicles to safely navigate out of BRC this morning, but is drying."
The event organizer warned an "Exodus likely to begin around noon today." It said all burners need to listen to "BMIR 94.5 FM, GARS 95.1 FM" for updates.
Gate Road remains too wet & muddy for most vehicles to safely navigate out of BRC this morning, but is drying. Exodus likely to begin around noon today, Monday 9/4. We will update you again in the next few hours. Listen to BMIR 94.5 FM, GARS 95.1 FM and watch here for updates— Burning Man Traffic (@bmantraffic) September 4, 2023
The chaos began on Friday evening when burners were told to shelter in place and conserve food, water, and fuel when the dried-up alkaline lake bed transformed into a muddy hellhole. By Saturday, the situation deteriorated, and organizers closed the festival's roads and gates. Then on Sunday, the area was considered a 'mudpocalypse' by some.
Marc Chenard, a forecaster with the National Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, shared good news for burners:
"Yep, the rain cleared out of there.
"It'll be sunny today with temperatures in the 70s (Fahrenheit)."
Since late Friday, the Black Rock Desert area has received about 1.5 inches of rain. Even though roads are drying out -- it's still a mess.
The exodus begins.
There are no gravel roads here.
The wait continues for thousands stuck at the #BurningMan festival. Heavy rain made roads around the festival grounds impassible over the weekend.— WeatherBug (@WeatherBug) September 4, 2023
Credit: Melanie Elaine via Storyful pic.twitter.com/6CE40zXxPR
A pilot flew over the festival, recording the exodus via camera, and observed that several vehicles had become stuck.
How can the festival be called "Burning Man" if there's nothing to burn?