For Immediate Release – May 31, 2023
Bennet Leon, Air Quality Planning Section Chief
Department of Environmental Conservation
Vermont DEC Declares Smoke Advisory: Elevated Particle Air Pollution Advisory Issued for Wednesday Through Friday
Montpelier, Vt. – The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is forecasting moderate concentrations of fine particle air pollution from smoke to affect the state Wednesday through Friday. The particle pollution is the result of wildfire smoke from Nova Scotia, Canada. Wildfire smoke can cause a hazy or milky appearance in the sky and may be noticeable by smell at times.
Although air quality is expected to remain acceptable and not exceed the federal health standard, DEC advises individuals who are unusually sensitive to air pollution (including children, older adults, and anyone with heart or lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis), or anyone especially sensitive to smoke, to take precautions to protect their health by limiting prolonged outdoor exposure and exertion and to monitor their symptoms.
Wind patterns will likely transport plumes of smoke from these fires across much of the northeast, including Vermont. Air quality is expected to improve Friday when forecasted winds will push the smoke plumes out of the region.
Fine particle exposure symptoms increase as fine particle concentrations increase. Symptoms of particle pollution exposure may include chest pain, palpitations, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. In addition, people with asthma and other existing lung diseases may not be able to breathe as deeply or vigorously as normal.
For up-to-date air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in Vermont, visit AirNow.gov.
Actions for people to take:
- Sign up for VT-ALERT, to receive notifications when there is unhealthy air quality as well as guidance on how to protect themselves from poor air quality. If users signed up for VT-ALERT prior to 2022, they may need to modify their settings to receive air quality alerts.
- Sign up for EnviroFlash, to receive daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications.
- Learn more:
The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit dec.vermont.gov and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.