‘There are NO safe alternative routes’ to Burning Man: Traffic jammed amid fatal crash

A fatal collision in Gerlach, Nevada, blocked traffic headed to the popular Burning Man festival almost entirely on its first day.

Washoe County sheriff’s deputies said in a tweet that the road to the festival grounds in Black Rock City will be congested for several hours. They asked visitors in Reno to wait until the situation progresses before leaving the city.

The accident occurred at the intersection of County Road 34 and State Route 447 in Gerlach.

The official Burning Man Project organizers took to Twitter as well, going so far as to ask visitors to turn around and drive back to Reno.

“DO NOT follow alternate routes suggested by Google, Apple, or other map applications. There are NO safe alternative routes to #BlackRockCity,” the group tweeted. “If you’ve already left Reno and you have the opportunity to turn around, please return to Reno until we can confirm the road has re-opened.”

Meanwhile, the vehicles that made it through before the accident entered Black Rock City with “no wait time at the gate,” a rare occurrence for a festival that usually sees a minimum five-hour wait for visitors arriving during the first 36 hours of the event.

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Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.