(Black Rock City – August 28, 2007) The Man at the center of Black Rock City will be rebuilt after an overnight fire which damaged the effigy at the center of the Burning Man event. Rebuilding is expected to take about two days.
Black Rock City officials say there was structural damage to the figure of the Man, but relatively little damage to the art and exhibits at the base of the Man. No injuries were reported.
An arson investigation is underway, and one arrest was made shortly after the fire was set. No charges have been announced, and the name of the suspect is being withheld. There has been no discussion of motive in the episode.
“We have the means and the will. The event continues on schedule, and the Man will burn on Saturday night,” said Andie Grace, Communications Manager for Burning Man LLC.
A perimeter has been established around the scene, but event organizers say it is likely that participants will be permitted to visit the pavilion while the rebuilding is underway.
This is not the first time the Man has required rebuilding. In 1990, the Man was accidentally cut up with a chain saw while in storage prior to the event. It was fully rebuilt in time to be transported to the desert.
Burning Man annually attracts as many as 40,000 participants in the last week of August. The climax of the event is the burning of the effigy on Saturday night.