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Quebec Forest Fires

July 2002

The smoke from the Quebec forest fires on July 7, 2002 resulted in some of the highest particulate matter (PM) levels ever measured in Vermont and one of the haziest days ever observed in the region. Haze is caused by fine particles that scatter and absorb light before it reaches the observer. As the number of fine particles increases, more light is absorbed and scattered, resulting in less clarity, color, and visual range. Below are pictures and graphs representing what was observed during this period.

Burlington HazeCam: July 7, 2002 at 3:00 PM

The above pictures ( show a clear day in Burlington compared to July 7, 2002. Normal air quality due to particulate levels are “Good” on the Air Quality Index (AQI) scale while the levels in early July were considered “Unhealthy.”


Burlington and Rutland PM2.5 Hourly Averages; July 1-15, 2002



VT DEC Air Quality & Climate Division Davis Building 2nd Floor, 1 National Life Drive   Montpelier, VT  05620-3802  Tele: 802-828-1288 Fax: 802-828-1250

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