While Black Rock Rangers patrol the city, they are not law enforcement personnel. They are members of the Burning Man community, just like you. You can identify them by their khaki-colored attire, featuring the familiar Burning Man logo in brown on their backs and chests. You can request their assistance at any time for disputes, emergencies, or questions. They are available 24/7 throughout Black Rock City, at Ranger Headquarters at 5:45 and Esplanade, and at the Ranger Outposts at the 3:00 & 9:00 plazas.
Outside of Black Rock City we often only have law enforcement to call when we have a safety concern or need to settle things like a noise complaint or another issue with our neighbors. In BRC, we have veteran members of our community who can help mediate disagreements, find lost kids, address safety concerns, direct participants to resources and information, and even just help put a fresh set of eyes and ears on sticky problems. The Rangers’ ideal outcome is to help people solve their own problems with a gentle nudge in the right direction, and then fade into the dust when they’re not needed. Rangers can radio for law enforcement, medical and mental health staff, firefighting resources, and environmental clean-up teams if necessary.
New for 2019
As volunteers, Black Rock Rangers do not typically engage physically with participants. Instead, Rangers rely on tools like education, negotiation, and an appeal to the 10 Principles to resolve conflict. Each year, there are a few situations involving participants behaving aggressively that are beyond the scope of Ranger responsibilities but don’t rise to the level of requiring law enforcement intervention, or might benefit from proactively deploying a team than can act in the event that a situation escalates.
For the 2019 event, Burning Man Project has contracted with High Rock Security to provide a very small team (no more than four people at a time) in Black Rock City that will provide support and assistance to Black Rock Rangers. We believe that having this third option for a small number of unique cases will benefit Rangers, participants, and law enforcement.
The High Rock team will not be proactively patrolling the city, and will only engage when dispatched by Ranger leadership. They will not be armed and will escalate any serious issues immediately to law enforcement as needed. They will be wearing black “High Rock Security” shirts, clearly distinguishable from Rangers and law enforcement.
You may know High Rock Security from their work at a number of official Burning Man Project events (like San Francisco Decompression and the Artumnal Gathering) and events adjacent to Burning Man (e.g., Lightning in a Bottle, Symbiosis). They work alongside Rangers at some of these gatherings and approach security in a manner inspired by Black Rock Rangers, preferring de-escalation techniques.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit this page.