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Federal agency frets about terrorism threats at Burning Man

Posted at 10:29 AM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 13:29:04-04

RENO (AP) — Burning Man organizers say the U.S. government wants to place unreasonable conditions on a proposal to expand the counter-culture festival's capacity to 100,000.

The potential mitigation measures include stepped-up security searches and new barriers around the perimeter that the Bureau of Land Management says would reduce vulnerability to acts of terrorism in the desert north of Reno.

The draft environmental impact statement points to the mass shooting at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip 18 months ago.

The agency says that while terrorism has never occurred at Burning Man, "several vulnerabilities exist." It says the big crowds, iconic status of Burning Man and widespread media coverage could make the festival an attractive target.

It's apparently the first time the bureau has analyzed terrorist threats as part of an environmental review on federal land.