LAS VEGAS — For the second time this month, commissioners in a rural Nevada county have pre-signed an emergency declaration ahead of the “Storm Area 51” event that’s drawn more than 2 million RSVPs on Facebook.
On Wednesday, Nye County commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the declaration in preparation for the mysterious affair that could draw thousands of curious visitors to the desert.
Commissioner John Koenig confirmed the board passed the pre-emptive declaration, but he declined to comment, directing all questions to spokesman Arnold Knightly.
The USA TODAY Network could not immediately reach Knightly for comment.
California resident Matty Roberts created the event – called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” – in June after listening to an episode of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. The tongue-in-cheek event scheduled for Sept. 20 quickly generated millions of accepted invitations.
‘Storm Area 51’: Lincoln County in rural Nevada to declare emergency
Nye County is home to Amargosa Valley, the original site of the Area 51 raid, but the event has been shifted to Lincoln County in the town of Rachel. The self-proclaimed “UFO Capital of the World,” Rachel is located on State Route 375, dubbed in 1996 the “Extraterrestrial Highway.”
On Aug. 19, commissioners in Lincoln County also voted to pre-sign an emergency declaration, which allows the state to supply resources in the event that a rural county needs help.
The actual Area 51 site is a classified military facility set inside a test and training range roughly the size of Connecticut. Intrigue surrounding the impenetrable desert compound for decades has fueled conspiracy theories and local lore about what exactly goes on there.
Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews said in a statement to USA TODAY that military officials were aware of the event that aims to uncover what many people believe are conspiratorial secrets of the military installation in Nevada.
McAndrews didn’t specify any security plans at the base, but she did warn those thinking of entering the area.
“The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft,” McAndrews. “Any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”