Overview of the Firefly Rangers

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For a Concise overview of the Firefly Rangers geared towards new Rangers, see Welcome to the Firefly Rangers.


Rangers are citizens of Firefly who encourage self reliance, individual accountability, and shared responsibility among Fireflies. Rangers volunteer our time to be sober, caring, radio-connected resources for the community. Rangers work as a team with other Rangers and with other Firefly Cores to ensure the safety of the event and all participants. When circumstances dictate, Rangers act to uphold the principles of our community, which are based on the Ten Principles of Burning Man.

Read more in our Firefly Ranger Charter.

Who are the Firefly Rangers?

The Firefly Rangers are friendly participants who have been well trained to do nothing. We walk around Firefly as a visible community resource, helping to assist Fireflies when needed. Rangers are a key community resource—a team that encourages self reliance, individual accountability, and shared responsibility among fellow participants at Firefly. Rangers can mediate situations upon request, we can summon help in an emergency, and we agree to uphold the larger principles of our community while on duty. Rangers (mostly) have no authority (except that which a participant chooses to give us at any given point). Rangers are simply participants volunteering to fill an essential community role.

In order to be ready to go when needed, Rangers maintain both a stationary presence at Firefly Headquarters (“Ranger HQ”) and also roam the woods and field (“Dirt Rangers”). Our presence throughout the event also enables Rangers to serve as interlocutors and to help carry information among attendees and other Firefly volunteer organizations.

Firefly Rangers cover a diverse spectrum of the community and are empowered by the community and the Firefly Board to address safety concerns, mediate disputes, and help participants resolve conflicts. Rangers encourage a community of shared responsibility. Rangers rise from the dirt when needed and recede into the dirt when no longer needed. Through our radios and shift briefings, Rangers can promote awareness of safety concerns and potential hazards from unattended fires to inclement weather. Rangers will assist any participant who requests our help.

Rangers also serve the Firefly community as non-confrontational mediators. We can work with participants to address disputes, to resolve or prevent potential safety concerns, and to assist in responding to medical, emotional, and personal safety emergencies. Because our role derives from serving the participants, and Self-Reliance is a key principle of Firefly, Firefly Rangers will only assist the community when needed and may remind participants that self-reliance is one of our key principles.

Rangers support the tenets and principles of the community and help participants remember their obligation to one another. Rangers use non-confrontational communication whenever possible to encourage cooperation and help create a safe environment. Rangers rarely possess authority beyond the authority that any participant chooses to give us at any particular time. Very occasionally, when Rangers assist with creating perimeters or disseminating information, they may be asked by other Ops (formerly Safety) Teams such as OOD, First Aid, Fire Core, or the Board to ask participants to not break a perimeter for reasons of safety or privacy.

Firefly Rangers serve the Firefly Community. We share a commitment to stay out of the way when not needed and to help fellow participants when asked. Rangers uphold Community values & the Ten Principles. The Firefly Ranger organization believes that diversity is necessary to our ability to serve effectively. The Firefly Rangers are overseen by the Firefly Ranger Council, the Firefly Board, and the Firefly Community at large.

For more information about what Rangers do, see Rangerly and Unrangerly Behavior, and What Rangers do on Shift.

For information about becoming a Ranger, see Get Involved