Burning Man got more tragically literal this year after a festival-goer fatally charged into the Saturday night bonfire, in which the festival’s eponymous effigy is set aflame. The man has been identified as 41-year-old Aaron Joel Mitchell, reports USA Today; onsite responders pulled Mitchell from the fire after he broke through a safety barrier and dove into its flames Saturday evening.
After being airlifted to UC Davis, he was pronounced dead Sunday morning. This year’s Burning Man, a week-long art festival that brings 70,000 to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, began on August 27 and is set to end Monday. The wooden effigy built during the festival rose 40 feet. Per USA Today, the symbolic burning of this statue is a “solemn celebration where burners put notes and personal items, some to honor people who have died.”
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