Revellers at the Burning Man 2012 festival continue to brave high temperatures, searing winds and waves of dust at the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada as the week-long annual event draws to a close.

The area is known as "The Playa" during the festival and the campers in eccentric costumes set elaborate art installations ablaze.

The event dates back to 1986, when Larry Harvey, Jerry James and a few friends lit a bonfire on a San Francisco beach to mark the summer solstice.

The event has since moved to the Black Rock Desert, where it takes place over the week leading to the US Labor Day holiday weekend. It has become dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance. The burning of wooden effigies, elaborate costumes and eccentric art installations are part of the ritual.

The event is organised by Black Rock City, a company led by Harvey, and will close on the first Monday of September, when the revellers abandon the place after a week of celebration without leaving "any trace whatsoever", one of the core beliefs of the event.

The theme of this year's festival is "Fertility 2.0" in honour of the female form and other artistic expressions of dance and music. Over 60,000 people from across the world are thought to have visited the sold-out festival.

A 50-foot tall wooden installation called Anubis was set ablaze as the event was coming to a close and hundreds of people danced around the remains of the effigy.

Scroll through the best pictures from the Burning Man festival:

Participants watch the flames from El Pulpo Mecanico during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
The Playa comes to life at night during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
Revellers dance around the burned remains of the Anubis art installation during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
Mountain Spirit and Shooting Star, their Playa names, dance during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
"Samurai" dance at sunrise during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
A 50-foot-tall wooden art installation Anubis burns during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
Members of Pyroklectic perform before the Man burns during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
The Man burns during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
Performance artist Jovis makes his way through Center Camp during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
People rest while others pray or meditate in Temple of Juno during Burning Man 2012 Fertility 2.0 arts and music festival in Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
Participants ride an "art car" during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
The Temple of Juno is seen at sunrise during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
"The Man" appears at sunrise during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
People walk towards the Temple of Juno, which is lit at night, during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.Reuters
An aerial view shows a dance party during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada,Reuters