Sunday morning's orange haze thickened into hazardous air by afternoon, forcing planes out of Wagga's airport to be grounded, and leaving people in the street wearing masks.
A spokesperson for the airport confirmed just before 5pm that airlines flying in and out of Wagga had made the decision to ground their fleets due to the declining air quality.
"The airport does not make the decision to ground flights, individual airlines do that, but the air quality has just been getting poorer and poorer as the day has gone by," said Leon Burger, airport facility manager.
"With the smoke, visibility is just too low for anything to safely fly out or land at Wagga."
It is unclear when the flights will resume in and out of Wagga, but there is unlikely to be any change in the smoke haze until later this evening, into tomorrow morning.
Passengers due to board an afternoon flight with Qantas will be reaccommodated to an additional service on Monday, depending on conditions, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed.
In other news
Smoke from the huge fires around the region drifted into Wagga throughout Sunday, with the official air quality index reaching 269 late in the afternoon.
The NSW government's air quality index rating states that anything at or above 200 is classified as hazardous.
The quality was so bad that Wagga City Council closed the Oasis aquatic centre with short notice at 4pm due to the poor air, and some of the few pedestrians in the CBD were sporting face masks.
Visibility was also severely reduced on the roads.