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Burn Clean = Elevated + Staked + Attended + Cleaned Up!

Burn Scars

Fires built directly on the playa surface create a burn scar or patch of discolored, hardened playa sediment that, unaided, take years to fully recover. The process of manually restoring them requires many hours of picking out residue by hand (mainly shattered bottles, nails and screws), breaking up the fire hardened layer and returning the following year (after the rainy season) for further treatment. There are many dozens of these from past years events that we are still working on; it is our goal to not make any new ones!

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will provide some materials for art installations and several public burn platforms approximately 50 yards away from the Esplanade for participants to burn wood items on without scarring the playa (these platforms will be designated on the Black Rock City Map).

If you are creating a large piece that is impractical to elevate or insulate from the playa, you might consider dismantling it instead and burn a symbolic portion at one of the public burn platforms.

Burn Barrels & Camp Fires

Camp fires are not permitted with the exception of designated public areas. 55 gallon steel drum "burn barrels" with legs, staked down against high winds, will be provided for some theme camps on the Esplanade. Groups receiving these will be asked to monitor their use and help with their clean up. Commercially manufactured type cooking equipment (staked down in case of winds) is the only acceptable fire sources for cooking within camps.

Tiki Torches, Candles & Lanterns

Winds pick up without warning and blow things over -- tent fires have started due to tiki torches, candles and lanterns being blown over in or around tents. Tiki torches are restricted to The Esplanade, the pedestrian boulevard at the fron of our city; Villages; in our Center Camp; and within the two Plazas on 2500' at the 90° and 270° intersections. We are tentatively allowing their reintroduction only in specific pre-approved locations along the esplanade. Unattended candles are discouraged and safe use of lanterns is encouraged.

How to Burn Clean

  • No fires on the unprotected playa -- they must be elevated, staked down, attended and cleaned up -- pack it in, pack it out. Bring square edged shovel, broom, and metal containers for ash and debris. There can be no pits dug into the playa surface for fires for any reason.
  • No bottles in fires! They shatter and create a multiplied pick up chore.
  • No burning of any synthetic materials (eg. couches, rugs, plastic or PVC), they release particularly toxic fumes and create hard to clean residue.

Questions? If you have any questions, contact:

Your cooperation will help our community survive the cleanup and BLM inspection phase after the event, and ensure the future of Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert.

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