East China, a major agricultural zone with a dense population, suffers from severe air pollution during June, the agricultural harvest season, every year. Crop burning emits tremendous amounts of combustion products into the atmosphere, not only rapidly degrading the local air quality but also affecting the tropospheric chemistry, threatening public health and affecting climate change. Recently, in mid-June 2012, crop fires left a thick pall of haze over East China. We evaluated the PM10, PM2.5 (particulates less than 10 and 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter) and BC (black carbon) emissions by analyzing detailed census data and moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) remote sensing images and then simulated the consequent pollution using meteorological and dispersion models. The results show that the crop fires sweeping from the south to the north are responsible for the intensive air pollution during harvest season. It is necessary for scientists and governments to pay more attention to this issue.