Playa Safety

The Playa Safety Council is an umbrella organization for departments involved in ensuring safety on the playa, including leaders of the Rangers, Gate/Perimeter, Law Enforcement Liaison (LEAL), Exodus, Department of Mutant Vehicles, and Emergency Services.  Through the PSC, they share information about internal developments and forge consensus on all major safety decisions with inter-departmental impacts.


Internally, 2006 went very smoothly for Playa Safety Council.  Past focus on interdepartmental communication paid off in spades.  Monthly meetings were well attended, though their need was diminished, allowing Playa Safety Council to cancel one or two meetings due to lack of agenda items! Surely a first and true sign of success!

The main point of focus for Playa Safety Council was our relationships with outside agencies, like local Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Land Management.  As always, there were new areas of concern.  In 2006, we addressed issues around the BLM’s right to evict participants from the event, and the Playa Safety Council worked with the BLM to come up with a process that would be acceptable and fair.  In the end, the BLM did not exercise their abilities and simplified the Burning Man closure order, which worked well for BLM and the Burning Man Project.  There was also more stringent scrutiny of our Leave No Trace compliance during the event.  The Burning Man Project fared well under scrutiny.

Playa Safety Council was very pleased to see more Law Enforcement riding the perimeter in greater numbers this year.  Safety along the fence line has long been one of our main concerns.  We hope that Law Enforcement support will continue and the Playa Safety Council looks forward to further communication on how to improve mutual operations there.

Submitted by Harley K. Dubois