The population of Black Rock City can grow to as many as 60,900 people this year.
A new permit was issued Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the temporary city in the Nevada desert, where the annual Burning Man festival is held. But organizers will need to keep a close watch on the number of people entering the festival or face further permit sanctions.
Black Rock LLC, organizer of Burning Man, was placed on probation after exceeding its 50,000-person permit by nearly 4,000 in 2011. Organizers hope to increase the population to 70,000 by 2016 and had applied for a five-year permit to do so. But because of their probation status, the federal bureau could not issue more than a one-year permit, said agency Assistant Field Manager Cory Roegner.
If the festival does not exceed its population this year or violate its 13 permit conditions and 50 stipulations — which include debris removal, cleanup and fee payments — Burning Man could receive a permit to operate from 2013 through 2016 at varying crowd sizes. However, if they are found in violation again this year, Black Rock could face stricter rules or permit revocation.
Burning Man is held Aug. 27 to Sept. 3.