September 1, 2017 1:03 pm
Updated: September 1, 2017 1:07 pm

Burning Man: Road to festival temporarily closed because it was nearly burning, thanks to wildfire

Flames shoot from the Flower Tower as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 31, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart
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The main artery to the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada was temporarily shut down as a result of a rapidly expanding wildfire Wednesday night.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, a lightning strike sparked the wildfire Tuesday, which spread quickly, thanks to erratic winds.

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In a statement, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators said the wildfire had consumed over 52,000 acres of grass, brush and timber.

READ MORE: ‘Irreplaceable’ Calgary art found with help from Reddit user in time for Burning Man display

“The fire has exhibited extreme behaviour with wind-driven runs. Some electrical transmission lines have been damaged by the fire,” the group said in the statement.

Working to contain the fire, about 100 crew members worked Thursday night to snuff the blaze, which was burning about 65 kilometres from the Burning Man celebrations, the Associated Press reported.

Coverage of B.C. wildfires on Globalnews.ca:

The road has since reopened, but may close again as a result of the wildfires in the area.

More than 70,000 people were expected at the art and music celebration in the Black Rock Desert by the time it peaks Saturday night with the traditional burning of a towering effigy.

A spokesperson for Interagency Fire service told the Associated Press there was no urgent threat to the Burning Man festival.

READ MORE: Massive Washington state wildfire jumps into B.C. between Manning and Cathedral Parks

“It’s not close to Burning Man at this time,” John Gaffney told the news agecny. “There’s a considerable distance between the fire and the festival. At this point, the goal is to keep the road open as much as we can.”

The wildfires didn’t stop those who already made the pilgrimage to the festival earlier this week. Here’s a look at a selection of photos from Burning Man so far.

Burning Man participants react as a person on an art car waves and flashes them a peace sign as they bicycle through Black Rock City during the 4th day of the annual arts and music festival in Nevada, August 31, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

Participants make their way past an art installation as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 30, 2017.

Reuters /Jim Urquhart

The effigy of “The Man” that will be burned at the culmination of the 2017 Burning Man festival is seen during the 4th day of the annual arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 31, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

Burning Man participants bicycle through a desert dust storm as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world attend the 3rd day of the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 30, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

Burning Man participants perform in front of a huge art project called the “Tree of Tenere during the 3rd day of the 2017 Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 30, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

Burning Man participants perform during a driving desert dust storm on the 2nd day of the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

A participant wears a mask as he dances as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S. August 29, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Pippa Sutherland (L) and AJ Bertenshaw dance during the Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Participant David Huffman is covered by dust at the Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Burning Man participants dance in the midst of a driving desert dust storm on the 2nd day of the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 29, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

Participants explore the playa at the Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 28, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

A Burning Man participant explores Black Rock City on her bicycle during the 1st full day of the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 28, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

The “Rabid Transit” Burning Man art car erupts with flames during the 4th day of the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 31, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Bourg

Members of the Bunny March try to race past members of the Carrot Team to reach “The Man” during the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 31, 2017.

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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