Why? Aaron Joel Mitchell dies running into Burning Man effigy

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Authorities told RadarOnline.com that he was in a "critical condition" following the horrific incident on Saturday night.

Burning Man organizers say they aren't now affected by a nearby Nevada wildfire as the counter-culture festival prepares to culminate Saturday night with the burning of a towering effigy.

According to the official statement from Burning Man, the attendee was rescued by Black Rock City fire personnel.

In a statement, Burning Man said Mitchell was pulled from the flames by firefighters and airlifted to University of California-Davis' burn treatment center.

Festivalgoers looked on in horror as the man raced towards a burning giant wooden effigy and was engulfed by the fire.

Meanwhile, the main road to Burning Man remains open Sunday morning as the annual counter-culture festival winds down and an estimated 70,000 participants start to head home.

Burning Man is a week-long festival in a temporary city erected in the desert about 100 miles north of Reno.

Allen said doctors confirmed Mitchell wasn't under the influence of alcohol, but a toxicology report was pending.

The Burning Man organization canceled scheduled burns through noon Sunday but will proceed with the scheduled Temple burn at 8 p.m. Sunday night.

The festival culminates with the burning of a towering 40-foot effigy made of wood, a symbol of rebirth, which usually happens the Saturday before the Labor Day holiday. Despite the self-parodying aspects of the festival, the metaphor of Burning Man has rarely achieved such existential heights. This year's festival ends on Monday.

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