The rain has passed and the temple has burned down. Now, with Burning Man slowly getting empty, it’s time to clean up.

burning man Organizers have three weeks to clear large swathes of public land in the Black Rock Desert of northwestern Nevada, but a summer storm that left tens of thousands trapped in ankle-deep mud could change that timeline.

Held on San Francisco Beach in 1986, the annual gathering draws nearly 80,000 artists, musicians and activists to a week of wilderness camp and avant-garde performances. One of the principles of Burning Man is to leave no trace—all attendees are expected to pack up everything they brought to Black Rock and clean their camp before leaving.

But after torrential rains closed roads traffic jam, forcing many to walk barefoot in the muck for miles, the area was littered with abandoned vehicles, carpets, furniture, tents and rubbish. The ground itself is deeply imprinted and rutted.

Eleonora Segreti, who lives in central Italy and is attending Burning Man for the second time this year, left the beach early Tuesday. She said everyone she knew was doing what they could to clean up.

“It’s a very powerful principle. Everyone, actually everyone I know and everyone I talk to, they take the idea of ​​’leave no trace’ seriously,” she said on Tuesday at Reno’s Tahoe International Airport. said while waiting for a ride after the shuttle. “If it takes an extra day to clean up, most people will do so.”

A permit issued by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management requires Burning Man organizers to clear debris from the area after vehicles leave the desert, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northeast of Reno. Burning Man organizers did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press about how the rain would affect the cleanup schedule.

In October, a team of federal employees and Burning Man organizers will enter the festival site to inspect it.

BLM spokesman John Asselin said the post-festival cleanup included clearing the dry lake bed with large rakes on trucks and picking up litter on the highway to and from Burning Man.

He said Burning Man organizers will take responsibility for any needed repairs found during inspections.

celebration Free spirits in remote deserts emphasize self-sufficiency. Many of the attendees, calling themselves “burners,” arrived with limited supplies. Challenges such as extreme heat, sandstorms and torrential rain are expected and, for the most part, welcome.

There, they built an elaborate city across 4 square miles (10 square kilometers), complete with colorfully themed encampments, decorated art cars and guerrilla theatre, setting the scene for the burning of towering faceless portraits and Preparations for a temple dedicated to the dead. All of this will be dismantled and shipped away after the festival.

Most attendees travel to the inhospitable desert for a week to express themselves through music and art, and to connect with nature. Some visit the bottom of the ancient lake for week-long psychedelic parties filled with hallucinogens and nudity.

Wooden statues were burned on Monday night and temples were burned on Tuesday night after being delayed by heavy rain. More than half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain fell on Friday, turning the powdery desert floor into slush.

For many, the burning of temples has become the centerpiece of celebrations — something more intimate and spiritual than the rave-party-style self-immolation statues. Traditionally, revelers leave the names of deceased loved ones and other mementos at the temple to be burned.

U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada, whose district includes the Black Rock Desert, said Burning Man was generally positive for his community. But the infrastructure to support the makeshift city is sometimes lacking — not necessarily at the festival grounds themselves, but on the two-lane road that takes people from Reno to the Nevada desert countryside, which passes through the Paiute Pyramid Land of the Lake Tribe.

Still, Amody said Burning Man organizers have been good partners in northern Nevada and have cleaned up the trash themselves over the past few years, as required by the event permit.

“So this time it’s going to be a little troublesome,” Amoudi told The Associated Press. “And I’m sure they’re up to the task.”

Some festivalgoers plan to stay until the venue is cleared.

Alexander Elmendorf, 36, who plans to stay there until Friday, said: “It’s a national reserve and part of our mission is to keep it in the same condition as we found it. “So that means taking every bed, every cutlery, every cigarette butt.”

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