Tens of thousands of Burning Man revelers, or “burners,” continued the long, slow slog out of the northern Nevada desert Tuesday morning after getting stranded by flooding that created a muddy mess.

Traffic began moving again Monday afternoon after organizers decided the mud had sufficiently dried. Some drivers estimated the backups lasted five hours or more.

The festival was closed to traffic after more than a half-inch of rain drenched the desert on Friday, causing flooding and deep, paralyzing mud.

This photo, provided by Maxar Technologies, shows an overview of traffic leaving the Burning Man festival on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, in the Black Rock Desert north of Reno, Nevada. Partygoers stranded for days at the counterculture festival by a late summer storm were allowed to start leaving Monday afternoon after muddy roads dried up enough for them to begin their exodus from the northern Nevada desert. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies via AP)

Organizers also asked attendees not to walk out of the Black Rock Desert about 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of Reno as others had done throughout the weekend, including DJ Diplo and comedian Chris Rock.

The annual gathering, which launched on a San Francisco beach in 1986, attracts nearly 80,000 artists, musicians and activists for a mix of wilderness camping and avant-garde performances.

The road closures came just before the first of two ceremonial fires signaling an end to the festival was scheduled to begin Saturday night.

Burning Man Flooding
In this image from video provided by Stringr, a vehicle drives through mud at the Burning Man festival site in Black Rock, Nevada, on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. An unusual late-summer storm stranded thousands at the week-long event. (Stringr via AP)

The event traditionally culminates with the burning of a large wooden effigy shaped like a man and a wood temple structure during the final two nights. Still, the fires were postponed as authorities worked to reopen exit routes by the end of the Labor Day weekend.

“The Man” was torched Monday night while the temple is set to go up in flames at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

One death was reported over the weekend, but organizers said it was not weather-related.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.