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Burning Man festival attendee treks through ankle-deep mud to escape: 'Our only option to get out'

One Burning Man festival attendee said he had no other 'option' than to hike through ankle-deep mud to escape the flooded festival in Nevada over the weekend

A Burning Man festival attendee spoke out Wednesday about being stranded in the desert after thousands were forced to shelter in place amid heavy rain and flooding. 

Griffin Kirsch attended the annual event over the weekend in the Black Rock Desert, where attendees spent hours in a traffic jam trying to escape the muddy mess. He recalled trekking through miles of mud to leave the event during "Fox & Friends."

"Originally we were welcoming… a little bit of weather, but as it prolonged and got worse and worse, we were like, 'okay, well, this isn't so fun anymore,'" Kirsch said Wednesday. 

"And people had tents and yurts and sleeping quarters that didn't accommodate for an inch to three inches of water on the floor, so it kind of became a little bit panicky for a second."


"We were wondering how long this shelter-in-place order was going to be," he continued. 

"People didn't really know how long this is going to last… You're not really communicating with the outside world because you don't have connectivity, so it wasn't so fun for about 24 hours there."

Attendees of the counterculture festival were told to shelter in place Saturday, and to conserve food, water and fuel amid rainstorms. Both the airport and entrance of Black Rock City, Nevada, where the event is held, were closed because of the conditions. 

"Friday afternoon, we're having a good time, and all of a sudden storm started to roll in, and it ended up getting about three months of rain in 24 hours," Kirsch said. "The ply is flat as it gets, and so the water didn't have anywhere to go, and it just created ankle-deep mud pretty, pretty quickly."

"We weren't prepared for rain," he said. "We were prepared for… wind and dust, but we got the exact opposite, and so it was a little chaotic for a little bit there."


Festival attendees reportedly battled traffic jams trying to leave the area on Tuesday, with some waiting for up to eight hours. 

But Kirsch, who left his car in the area, said he was forced to walk several miles barefoot, often trekking through ankle-deep mud, to escape over the weekend. 

"We proceeded to put up with the storm through Saturday and about Saturday, late early afternoon, we decided to walk out because we realized that was really our only option to get out," he said. 

Despite the chaos that ensued, Kirsch said he would do it all over again if he could. 

"The good outweighed the bad for sure," he said. 

The annual event is known for the burning of a large wooden effigy, which was supposed to take place Saturday night.

Fox News’ Greg Norman, Greg Wehner and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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