BLACK ROCK DESERT — Thousands of Burning Man enthusiasts are on the outside looking in after a rare batch of heavy rain forced organizers to temporarily close entry to the counterculture event in the desert 90 miles north of Reno.
Bureau of Land Management dispatcher Mike Wilke told the Reno Gazette-Journal standing water turned the playa into a muddy mess Monday morning. Numerous vehicles were stuck and northbound traffic on State Highway 447 was being turned back toward Reno.
Organizers say the event will remain closed through Monday and possibly into Tuesday.
Several hundred people who entered the gates during Sunday’s opening were being told to remain in place at their camps.
Last year, a record 68,000 people attended the event that runs through the Labor Day weekend in the Black Rock Desert.