Fire Pit Protocols

February 2024


In accordance with the requirements of the Amherst Fire Department and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Amherst College has developed the following protocols for use of the fire pit, located west of Keefe Campus Center.

Fire Pit Requirements 

The fire pit can be used by faculty, staff and students, provided permission has been granted in advance from the Office of Student Activities.

  • Registration is required to ensure the fire pit will be available for your event.
  • Use of the fire pit is also contingent upon weather conditions. Dry and/or windy conditions can result in the cancellation of the event, as required by the Amherst Fire Department.
    • As with all other exterior fire related events on campus, the event coordinator or designee must contact the Amherst College Police Department non-emergency number (413) 542-2291 before starting the fire to;
      1. make them aware that the fire pit will be in use, and
      2. to allow them to verify weather conditions (at the time) are appropriate for exterior fires.
        • The police department has the authority to cancel the use of the fire pit for reasons of fire safety
  • The fire pit is strictly for the burning of wood, and shall not be used with charcoal, gas or other fuel source.
    • Seasoned wood must be used for the fire. It shall be the responsibility of the event coordinator or designee to make arrangements to have the seasoned wood, kindling wood, and black and white newspaper delivered to the fire pit after registration has been confirmed with the Office of Student Activities. The fire pit is routinely stocked with wood by the Amherst College Grounds Department. 
      • Wood from other sources, such as construction debris or wood from the grounds shall not be used for the fire pit.
        • Lighter fluid and other such combustible liquids shall not be used to start the fire
    • This fire pit shall be used for camp fire type settings, and may not be used for the purpose of cooking.

Exception – Roasting of marshmallows, and the making of S’mores. 

  • Can be used between the hours of 9am and 2am.
    • Provided no additional wood is added to the fire after 12:00 (midnight) in order to allow the majority of the wood to be consumed, prior to the departure of the event coordinator (or designee).
      • The Amherst College Police Department has the authority to extinguish the fire after 2am
    • The event coordinator will be responsible for the health, safety and well-being of the attendees for the duration of the fire, and shall report any known or potential concerns to the Amherst College Police Department.
      • Alcohol shall not be served or consumed at the fire pit for reasons of health and safety
    • The event coordinator or designee must remain at the fire until the “logs” have been consumed.
      • Do not extinguish the fire, except for emergencies. Allow the fire to burn itself out.
        • Do not clean out / empty the fire pit. This is the responsibility of the Grounds Department for reasons of fire safety.

Non-compliance with this policy may result in the loss of permission to use the fire pit in the future, as its use is contingent upon approval from the Amherst Fire Department.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns with regard to the above, contact the Office of Student Activities or Environmental Health and Safety at

By signing above, you signify that you have read and understood the operating guidelines for Keefe Campus Center Fire Pit.

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