Clock ticking on Burning Man clean-up

GERLACH - Organizers have until Oct. 3 to clean up the remnants of Black Rock City, home of Burning Man.

At its height during the Labor Day weekend, the temporary city reached a population of 26,000.

"Except for some rough weather, the event ran smoothly and we expect the same of the cleanup effort," said Terry Reed, Bureau of Land Management field manager for the Winnemucca office.

A closure of the three-mile entrance and southern portion of the playa was one change made to improve safety and security at the event. The closure was lifted on Monday at midnight. An access directly to the event location, signs and trained traffic-control flaggers improved safety and traffic flow in and out of the event.

The BLM is charging the Burning Man organization $4 per person per day for the seven-day event. The peak attendance was on Friday, with 25,453 participants. The daily attendance is being calculated and BLM will prepare the final billing the next week. Final payment is due to the BLM by Sept. 20.

BLM rangers issued 116 citations. About one-third were for drug related offenses, with the majority of the rest issued for violations of the closure. Pershing County sheriff's officers issued 21 drug-related citations and made eight arrests.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office and the National Guard RAID unit provided a Medivac UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to take patients to a hospital.

The Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority treated 1,000 patients during the week-long event. The majority of treatments were for cuts and scrapes and dehydration. There were about 20 overdose or drug related cases. About 20 patients were taken to Reno for additional medical care for head injuries or broken bones.

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