Burn Perimeter Support

We help hold the line of safety and keep the fire burning!

What Is a Burn Perimeter?

Every year at Burning Man, various Artists build art and then have the opportunity to burn their art on playa — this is a major combustion event! A structure (or effigy will burn), and parts of it may explode. A Burn Perimeter is made up of volunteers who, instead of watching that beautiful spectacle, stand or kneel in one spot looking outward at the crowd, forming a perimeter. We do this from a time approximately 2 hours prior to ignition, until it is deemed safe for participants to approach.

Who Is Burn Perimeter Support?

Burn Perimeter Support is a group of volunteers who give back to the Black Rock City community and the artists, by helping form a safety perimeter in a circle around burning art installations. We do this in conjunction with other teams involved with ensuring that burning art happens safely. 

With a smile and a flashlight, we help maintain the Burn Perimeter around the amazing art that is set on fire.

We cannot keep the art burning at Burning Man, without a Burn Perimeter crew!

All volunteers will attend a mandatory one-hour training on playa, prior to working that first Burn Perimeter.  

What skills and attitude do you need to be a Burn Perimeter Support volunteer?

  • Ability to stand, more or less, in one place for a few hours. (Dancing and talking to yourself is more than acceptable.)
  • Awareness of your surroundings and what is happening within them.
  • Patience and love for the citizens of Black Rock City as you tell yet another bicyclist that they are riding through a perimeter.
  • Respectful communication skills, which will come into play as you ask that bicyclist nicely — yet insistently— to please go around for their own safety.
  • Must be at least 18+ years old.

What gear do you need to be a Burner Perimeter Support volunteer?

  • Flashlight for seeing and signaling to others (VERY, VERY IMPORTANT!)
  • Personal lighting: a headlamp turned toward the ground and worn around your neck; a hat with a light; a small light hanging from your belt. (*Nothing so bright that it will blind someone looking at you.)
  • Whistle (optional, but recommended)
  • Clear goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Layers of clothing (since you will get warmer as the fire burns) 
  • NO synthetics! Natural fibers are your friend: a long-sleeved shirt, wide-brimmed hat, jacket, or simple costume that covers your skin.
  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Full water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Knee pads (optional, but you will be really glad to have them)

MANDATORY: A reflective safety vest will also be loaned to you upon your arrival for your Burn Perimeter shift. 

Are you interested?

If so, please access your Volunteer Questionnaire , and be sure to check the box indicating you would like to volunteer for Burn Perimeter Support.

Questions? Contact us at bps-vc-list@burningman.org

Cover image of the Burn Perimeter for “The Folly” by Dave Keane and The Folly Builders, 2019 (Photo by Susan C. Becker)

Additional image of the Temple Burn Perimeter for “Galaxia” by Arthur Mamou-Mani, 2018 (Photo by Susan C. Becker)