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A series of powerful dust storms blew through Burning Man on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY

RENO, Nev. — Despite the dust, the Burning Man party keeps going in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada.

The main route into Burning Man was closed Wednesday night because of a rapidly expanding wildfire but reopened Thursday. Bureau of Land Management officials said that area of Nevada 447, about 70 miles northwest of Reno on the edge of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation, could close again.

High-voltage electric transmission lines already have been damaged in the fire, which ignited during a dry thunderstorm Thursday. The community of Empire, which has the last general store before participants make the drive to Burning Man, could be threatened in the future, according to the BLM.

The BLM spokesman, John Gaffney, said the lightning-caused Tohakum 2 Fire remained at more than 30,000 acres — almost 50 square miles — overnight. Officials have no word yet on when it will be contained.

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The fire, which began burning Thursday morning near Nixon, Nev., isn’t close to Burning Man, he said. It’s about 40 miles away.

Though the fire would have to traverse mountains and playa until it reaches the Black Rock Desert, he still considers the blaze a “major safety concern.”

Follow the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal on Twitter: @rgj

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The annual Burning Man event centers on building an almost-anything-goes city in the desert for just a week.
Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY

 

 

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