On Playa: Check Under Your Vehicle for Oil Leaks

Engine oil leaks are common, especially in older vehicles, and they harm the playa. If your engine oil is leaking on the playa, use a drip pan, tarp, rug, plywood, or anything that can be secured to the ground so it catches the oil. You can be cited for oil leaks.

Waste Water

If you have a waste water spill and the contaminated playa fits in a five-gallon bucket, dig up the soil and dispose of the bucket off site. If it’s too much for a bucket, get help. Call a Black Rock Ranger to hail ESD’s hazmat team to help remediate the site.

Burn Scars

A burn scar is a discoloration of the surface soil due to contact with fire. They can last for years, and over time they form bumps, which are hazardous to vehicles. Volunteers have spent thousands of hours cleaning up burn scars in the past. It’s your responsibility to prevent them. Never start a fire directly on the playa surface. It will it create a burn scar, and the BLM will issue a citation. A fireplace, burn barrel, or BBQ (in permitted areas only) may be used for small fires.

Burning Art

You must register to burn your art with the Art Department and the Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) prior to arriving at the event. You may not burn art directly on the playa. Consider reducing CO2 emissions by not burning your art and instead repurposing it or recycling the materials. Burning public structures such as lampposts or bulletin boards, or other people’s artwork is prohibited. Artists have the sole right to burn their own creation. We love fire at Burning Man, but we must burn safely. Whether you want to have a re barrel, burn your artwork, or incorporate flame effects in your artwork or Mutant Vehicle, you must follow our Fire Art Safety Guidelines.

Fuel Storage Safety

Fuel expands with heat. Never fill your fuel containers past 80%. Protect the playa surface from fuel spills. All containers, regardless of size, must be stored within “secondary containment” basins. These basins must be capable of holding 110% of the volume of the largest single fuel container stored within it. Participants using combustible fuels in an art installation or storing fuel in camp must comply with best practices for storing and handling these materials. Questions about fuel? Contact fuelsafetyatburningmandotorg  (fuelsafetyatburningmandotorg)  .

Digging Holes

Do not dig holes in the playa larger than six inches wide and two feet deep for ANY purpose. Larger holes erode within a year’s time, even when carefully back filled, leaving a visible mark and creating a safety hazard to drivers. Use an auger or a posthole digger, NOT a shovel. Bag the dirt so it doesn’t blow away. Refill the hole by carefully tamping the soil back into place (an inverted sledgehammer works well). Repeat this process every few inches while dampening the soil.

Historical Artifacts

The collection, excavation or vandalism of archaeological artifacts is prohibited on public lands. If you find something that appears to be an authentic artifact, contact a Black Rock Ranger. If you are curious about the many Native American and pioneer historical sites in the Black Rock Desert Region, we invite you to contact the Oregon California Trail Association and join an organized exploration.